Enlightened Conflict

Pete Murray

November 21st, 2011

Smoky voice.

Acoustic guitar.

Storytelling songs.

Unhurried style.

No clue why this guy never made it big.

I have had this cd sitting in my amazon basket for years. And I had kept forgetting to move it into the “buy” section … until last week.

The cd is called Feeler (and it is really good). Many of his songs have that old Springsteen-like blue collar rock groove. Songs build from acoustic & rhythm guitar and drums often adding in a funky electric piano and organ.  It all creates a bigger anthemic feeling folk/rock storytelling cd. The cd is chockfull of classic rock’n’roll sounds lay the foundation throughout (like ‘Bail Me Out’). But listen to ‘So Beautiful’ (an ode to a lost lover) and t is almost the quintessential singer/songwriter performance of lingering regret, pain, anger, bitterness and the sweet memories. He sings in a way that makes all his lyrics seem honest and heartfelt.

Couple of songs:

So Beautiful: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLxe-Y_CZtw

Bail me Out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddrqTroCZGw&feature=relmfu

Anyway.

He also has a new cd out Blue Sky Blue.

It’s a little bit different than Feeler … but good.  Oh.  And he intentionally made it different.

“When I first signed my record deal I had a goal, I wanted to do three big albums. I knew if I could do that I would have established myself as someone who had a good fan base to play to. I achieved that but after I took a good break I knew I just wanted to make an album that was even better, an evolution from what I had done.”

This new cd is the first Murray has recorded with a big-name producer (producer has worked with Beck, Foo Fighters, Elliott Smith and Badly Drawn Boy). Its also his first album recorded in the US, his first with a different band, and the first to move away from his traditional  acoustic sound and take a more “groove-driven approach” to many of the songs.

The album was recorded at Los Angeles studio Sunset Sound (which I have actually been to and which has been the recording location for artists from The Doors and Led Zeppelin to Beck and Arctic Monkeys). As a trivia point he is the most commercially successful Australian singer-songwriter of the past 10 years (albums Feeler, See the Sun and Summer At Eureka).

But Feeler is an extraordinary debut cd. And I should have picked it up earlier. The first thing that will grab you is his smoky textured voice. It has the enviously powerful singer songwriter combination of “conviction, grace and road weary aspects of emotion and truth” (I stole those words from some review).

His voice is perfect to deliver his songs ranging from something as simple as an overlay to acoustic guitar to a heavier sound with jagged electric guitars and some catchy riffs.

His  musical direction has always been to keep it as stripped back as possible and let the words and the vocals tell the story … up until this newest cd.

Anyway. Pick up Feeler.  It is good.  Very good.

And if you want a different Pete Murray pick up Blue Sky Blue.  It is different. But good.

Enlightened Conflict