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Beauregard (Extended Version)

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Album Review

Murphy's first album for his new French label opens with the sound of church bells in Paris, where he has lived for years. After that opening, though, come lyrics that are heavily sprinkled with references to Texas, Memphis, New York City, Denver, and other stateside locales. Like most of Murphy's earlier albums, in other words, this one finds him preoccupied with his native America. That's not to say that the disc isn't full of surprises; in fact, it ranks among his most adventurous collections in quite some time. Among the boldest experiments: the hypnotic "O Wyoming," a sort of country rap number that's not at all what you'd expect from either Murphy or rap; the hook-laden "Hard Core," which may be Murphy's strongest bid yet for commercial success; and "Made in Freud," one of several tracks to feature the elegant violin work of Nils De Caster. Other highlights include the affecting "Somebodies Anniversary" (spelling may not be this artist's strong point); the lilting "Small Room," a rather improbable but nevertheless hard-to-resist tale of love and murder; and "Saint Elmo's Hotel," which features one of Elliott's finest lyrics about lost love. Throughout, Murphy sounds confident, energized, and eager to take chances. And the bulk of those chances pay off.


Born: 16 March 1949

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

A poetic lyricism is wedded to hard-edged arrangements by Long Island-born, Paris-based singer/songwriter Elliott Murphy. Although none of his songs have reached the Top 40, Murphy's influence is reflected through the music of Bruce Springsteen, Lou Reed, the Velvet Underground, and Talking Heads. Guests on Murphy's albums have included Shawn Colvin, Phil Collins, Billy Joel, Sonny Landreth, Bruce Springsteen, and members of the Violent Femmes, the Smithereens, Talking Heads, and the Velvet Underground....
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Beauregard (Extended Version), Elliott Murphy
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