It’s been a long day at work. You drag yourself through the front door, shuffle to the kitchen table and drop your bag on it with a sigh. What a day – all you need is some relaxing music to help you calm down. You walk over to the stereo and scan through your CD collection. Your finger passes past your Queens of the Stone Age albums, past Foo Fighters and that Black Eyed Peas album you don’t really listen to, and settles on Nick Murphy’s What’s In Your Mind?
“Hmm,” you think, “This album sounds kinda cool. Why not give it a try?” You pop it into the stereo, flop languidly onto your sofa, and close your eyes as the music begins to play. Soon trippy but soft electro sounds fill the room, helping you sink contentedly into the cushions, and then folk music begins to play. Augie March and Coldplay run through your mind. Murphy’s voice is reminiscent of but less achingly beautiful than Glenn Richards’ or Chris Martin’s, and his music less melancholy.
The album soon picks up with the country sounds of Candles Flicker and slows down with the mysterious Dragonflies. A guitar riff here and reverb effect there remind you of one of your favourite bands, Radiohead. “Cool,” you think. “It’s no Radiohead or Augie March, but it’s ok.” Occasional thick guitar and overdubbed vocals remind you of 70s soft rock, but Murphy’s offbeat melodies aren’t predictable like some of the songs from that era. Sometimes strings and trumpets feature alongside a happy melody, which remind you of something else altogether.
Murphy mixed too many different styles and emotions into this album, and hasn’t yet developed a sound to call his own. It isn’t focused enough to become a classic but is an interesting listen, and slows to a finish with the lovely piano, strings and echoey vocals of This Crooked Generation. By the time it’s over, you’ve dozed off on the couch with a smile on your face.