Crafty tunesmith puts Springsteen in his place
Stunningly varied, vibrant and well-crafted, this sonic eulogy to the firefighter nephew that Murphy lost in the 9/11 tragedy has roots in everything from Hoagy Carmichael to Brian Wilson, and is the true heir to the mercurial genius of Pet Sounds (Van Dyke Parks himself lends a hand). Murphy’s deep, sad voice moves through a harmonically sophisticated landscape, like Mark Eitzel crooning the Rufus Wainwright songbook. With a sense of humour, yet! Murphy is a skewed pop visionary to be reckoned with.