Peter Murphy: Ninth
Peter Murphy’s Ninth is the type of album that quickly grows on you. It is a step away from his previous solo work, but not completely unrecognizable.“Velocity Bird,” although it is the first track, is not indicative of the rest of the album. The main guitar riff and the instrumentals overall are merely passable. But “Seesaw Sway” kicks in not a moment too soon, and is the first song that will really pull you in and make you want to keep listening. At first, it sounds dangerously close to something conventionally poppy, but is saved by the eerie, dragged out crooning of “seesaw” proving that any line would sound captivating delivered in Peter Murphy’s (now classic) signature style. As always his voice demands undivided attention. Appropriately, the two singles “Seesaw Sway” and “I Spit Roses” feature the catchiest melodies.
“Memory Go” has a dark breakdown section that sneaks up on you between two fast and punchy choruses. The vocals in “Uneven & Brittle” are no less than stunning. “Secret Silk Society” is the most characteristically creepy track. Low, resonant guitars build a darker atmosphere, as spaced out, layers of vocals fill the rest in. “Crème de la Crème” is a gorgeous ballad that includes moving piano melodies and strings. It is calm, haunting, cavernous, and rich at the same time.
The best moments on the album are the numerous breakdown sections that allow Murphy’s unique and sometimes startling vocal style to shine. All topped off with memorable melodies, Ninth is by no means the mellow album that some may have been expecting. It seems to mark the beginning of a new era instead of the end of a previous one.