Murray A. Lightburn
Hear Me Out
The Dears’ frontman Murray A. Lightburn is back with a clear and contained solo outing in Hear Me Out. Whereas Lightburn’s last effort was driven primarily by propulsive rhythms and cascading synths, this new full length is a more languid affair. Taking hints from ‘50s and ‘60s pop and rock, Hear Me Out is a soft and pleasant listen front to back.
Swirling strings and soft flute help fill out the jazz-club milleu that the album aspires to. Clean and shiny electric guitar and gentle acoustic dominate the tonal colour on most tracks and build to the boldest moments, like the chorus and bridge on album centre-piece “Belleville Blues”.
The production takes a vocal-forward approach, flattening the instrumental beds into a springboard for Lightburn’s elegant and vulnerable vocals. As much as he abhors the nickname ‘the black Morrissey’ he does not do much to persuade us otherwise on the new album, though not to its detriment whatsoever. The vocals themselves are clear and warm with an authentic imperfection. The prosaic – though not entirely revelatory – lyrics are front and centre on this gentle and pleasant release.
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: MURRAY A. LIGHTBURN – HEAR ME OUT