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NICK MURPHY Run Fast Sleep Naked gets 6.5/10


Nick Murphy

Run Fast Sleep Naked
Future Classic

6.5/10

I’m not the same girl that used to listen to Built on Glass on her bedroom floor. It’s probably why I didn’t care that Nick Murphy decided to retire the Chet Faker persona. I figured he was doing the growth thing too. This review isn’t really on the album as such, but on the lessons that can be learned from the release of this album. It’d be a shame to miss this opportunity to draw on the wealth of information this particular release provides. I mean, I firmly believe it’s not really Nick Murphy’s fault how much some people seem to think this album sucks.

Chet Faker used to write bedroom melodies that followed a distinct pattern. Each song almost felt like an extension of the last song. There were so many elements that remained the same. It was a slow build-up for the introduction that fed into a vocal bridge, then some quirky elements like trumpet sounds and backing keyboards to wrap it together. With a stunning voice and poetry that spoke directly to a soul, the melody pattern stuck with many. Yet the pattern became a commodity. Chet Faker became a brand. Sure, Nick Murphy has a fanbase, but Chet Faker headlined festivals.

When you listen to Run Fast Sleep Naked for the first time, it’s like fumbling alone in the dark. You don’t know what parts of the songs you can grab onto and hold, and which parts will disappear. There isn’t the safety of the pattern that Chet Faker’s reliable, eloquent sound delivered. Simply put, if Built on Glass was a love letter, Run Fast Sleep Naked is a break-up in the middle of a crowded room. This album probably won’t win many new fans for the musician. But I don’t believe this album was written by a musician.

Instead, it has the gentle nudges and bold decision of an artist, whose medium happens to be music. It’s a subtle variance, yet one that helps bridge the misunderstanding the masses have between what this album is trying to achieve and what it isn’t. There was a time not that long ago where an artist could safely produce more experimental albums without completely segregating a fanbase. Ask any Led Zeppelin die-hard fan and I bet they could point to an album that they wouldn’t listen to again. Although our generation with all its cynicism and narcissism seems to be a lot less forgiving, these albums are still extremely important.

Personally, this album felt like it had nothing to do with winning over fans and everything to do with having fresh material for live performances. The song changes weren’t crisp enough. There wasn’t a story or a theme. Instead, picture Harry Takes Drugs On The Weekend with its orchestral elements in a setlist that includes previous release To Me with its melancholic sensitivity. Take Sanity and have that finish a setlist so that Talk Is Cheap can be the first song on the bill. Those that have said the album is underwhelming just didn’t get it. It wasn’t for you, at least, not yet anyway.

ANNIE MUNROE

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