It takes a long amount of talent to release an album or a film about every year, sometimes one or two projects within that same exact year. We’ve seen some of this in writers/directors like Woody Allen and even bands and artists that have been on the stage for decades and release a new material in great gap in between, yet, they all go through the same “issue” – quality control. It happens all the time with these fellows, in order to put out this new material in such a short period, they either need to have a great set of skills when it comes to quality, or else they will be releasing a few awesome work with a bunch of mediocre stuff in between.
Water Under The Bridge marks a whole new direction in the career of Chris Murphy, at least he leaves the celtic or folky melodies that many, including myself, enjoy back on Red Mountain Blues and The Tinker’s Dream and instead switches over for something rather Jazzy and at times, old school Western music, as in songs like “Joan Crawford Dances The Charleston” you are immediately drawn in to a Saloon, drinking with your friends, surrounded by cowboys in the Wild Wild West. As an artist who puts about three new albums per year, you got to applaud the fact that he makes sure every record feels unique and he seems to always look to catch the attention of a wide range of music listeners and not limit himself over to one genre. And that’s really something a few really knows how to finely pull out.
That being said, as a fan who was drawn into the heavy influences of a certain style for two or three materials already, I was genuinely expecting some of the same in the sense that at there would be some improvement or additions to those existing layers. Again, the new approach Murphy went on this record are appreciated from a creative standpoint, but from a personal one, unfortunately, it wasn’t that welcoming.
In the end, Water Under The Bridge takes Chris Murphy into a bold new direction that will definitely pay off for those new and old fans that adore classic, old Jazz and Blues music instrumental music. The fine textures that brings memories from the past, showcases a new facet of this talented artist. For the rest, we will just have to wait a few months for the new material and hoping we will find something to dive into.