The full measure

Chris Murphy doesn't like to stand still. When folks talk about "americana" music, they're talking about folk amplified with anything from rock to blues to bluegrass to jazz. Murphy says "yes, please" and then adds folk elements from across the Atlantic and plenty more. His songs are straightforward in the bones and well-appointed in the margins.

Chris Murphy

Which means they're easy to sing along with--and they fire pleasure receptor after pleasure receptor in the brain. Most tellingly, the title track is an instrumental reel. The comfort level that Murphy and his band have is top-notch, which helps when weaving in all of the extra flourishes.

Unlike many americana albums, this set is produced with a full and muscular sound. The opposite of minimalist, Murphy strides forward with a big songs and big sounds. These aren't arena rock anthems or anything, but they are songs sung and played with verve and confidence.

That confidence is what puts the final ribbon on these songs. Murphy knows he has the goods, and he knows when to strut. This one is a winner, not a wallflower. Quite the blast.

Jon Worley

return to A&A home page