Lion review by Peter Murphy

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  • Released: Jun 2, 2014
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 8 (14 votes)
Peter Murphy: Lion

Sound — 9
This is the tenth studio album by ex-Bauhaus vocalist Peter Murphy released on June 2nd of 2014 in the UK and June 3rd in the US. The album has been produced by the Killing Joke bassist Martin Glover who goes by the name of Youth, there are a lot of contributions in his style towards this album definitely adding a new flavor to the album. The track "Hang Up" has already been released as a single on April 8th, which gives somewhat of a teaser as to how some of the melodies and mood of the album is. Martin Glover's influence is present on the opening track "Hang Up" with dark electronic beats and skittering mysterious and distant sounding guitars. Murphy's vocal stylings on here are still predominantly the same but there is a new sensation of a new type of sound still merging with that as there are some excellent musicians here playing with him to give his vocals the perfect mood at the right times. There definitely is a range of vocals and moods throughout here being dispossessed at times with romantic sinister gothic edge and sad moody depressive tones. There definitely is a departure from the previous albums with a more vigorous vitality to his voice with those same haunting operatic and melodramatic screams in a melody form that just makes it sound great like Iggy or Jim Morrison as always.

Lyrics — 9
The album is actually a product of various recording sessions with the bassist Youth and Murphy who wanted to try recording together to see how it went and you can really see how the album was recorded in a rushed pace with a lot of improvisational moments but it comes out more than a diamond in the rough here it is almost perfect I would say and gives it an almost raw feel of musicianship. Murphy does say the songs are all sang in a high register and he does wonder how he would be able to sustain all of that for an hour but I think he definitely still has his youth and he hasn't really even seemed to age at all, it's almost as if I'm hearing something close to Bauhaus not quite it, but that key element of spindling gothic operatic voicings similar to a Sinatra, Iggy, Morrison, Bowie hybrid all fused together in an amazing unique style and wonderful baritone voice.

Overall Impression — 9
Tracks like "I Am My Own Name" have that almost seemingly symphonic electronic sense with some of those slight middle eastern elements that are just barely detectable in such an amazing fusion, he opens in such a dramatic and astonishing voice with an echo to add that compliments it well. He definitely has such a smooth voice but delivers those screams in such an amazing fashion I think he could be amazing in a metal band. "Lion" is a great mixture Murphy's most experimental works ranging from the techno flirtations of 1995's "Cascade," the Middle Eastern submersion of "Dust" and the full hard rock of "Ninth." On "I Am My Own Name" there is that exotic intro, goth chill keyboards and Murphy's voice in more melodic mode, and "Low Tar Stars" has a '80s feel with some synthetic pop going on. The only issue seems to be "The Ghosts of Shokan Lake" and "Holy Clown" get somewhat repetitive, feeling more like sonic sketches than fully formed songs but still actually sound great like more improvisational jamming. And mid-tempo rocker "Eliza" has a bit of over-tracked vocals but offers more haunting and meandering emotions from that melody. He does offer a contrast of smooth and relaxing to more hardcore tracks. "I'm on Your Side" and the dusky "Loctaine" are definitely some excellent and well composed ballads. I think overall there is a lot of youth and vitality visible here as an older artist still retaining that same edge and adrenaline as usual and even getting better sort of honing his voice sounding even better in a passionate youthful radiation. This definitely ranks as another solid album from the artist in his solo discography although I feel other ones are far better this in its own right is almost as good. It is amazing that such a band as a whole with an amazing enigmatic singer can reach such depth in an album I mean not a whole lot bands can really get this deep today.

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