Peter Murphyâ€™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.â€œVelocity Bird,â€ althoughÂ it isÂ the first track, is not indicative of the rest of the album. The main guitar riff and the instrumentals overall are merely passable. But â€œSeesaw Swayâ€ 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 â€œseesawâ€ proving that any line would sound captivating delivered in Peter Murphyâ€™s (now classic) signature style. As always his voice demands undivided attention.Â Appropriately, the two singles â€œSeesaw Swayâ€ and â€œI Spit Rosesâ€ feature the catchiest melodies.
â€œMemory Goâ€ has a dark breakdown section that sneaks up on you between two fast and punchy choruses.Â The vocals in â€œUnevenÂ & Brittleâ€ are no less than stunning. â€œSecret Silk Societyâ€ is the most characteristically creepy track. Low, resonant guitars build a darker atmosphere, as spaced out, layers of vocals fill the rest in.Â â€œCrÃ¨me de la CrÃ¨meâ€ 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 Murphyâ€™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.