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If Poets Were King - EP

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Album Review

Elliott Murphy followed up 1990s massive 12 with this six-song French EP, which has a running time of 22:14. The autobiographical but typically allusive lyrics reflect on Murphy's expatriate experience, even when, on the opening track, "Rio Grande Revisited," the subject is refugees on their way to America instead of away from it. The melodic folk-rock serves to provide an agreeable yet stimulating backdrop to Murphy's poetic flights, and the disc's concision is welcome after its predecessor's length. Four of the songs were released in the U.S. in 1993 on Unreal City, but the title track, which is the best song, was not. On it, Murphy confesses the powerlessness of artists — "rhyming words won't save the Kurds" — and concludes that things would change if poets were king, even though "nothing would get done until very late in the afternoon."


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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If Poets Were King - EP, Elliott Murphy
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