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Pete Murray – Blue Sky Blue

Catherine May


Pete Murray has been the poster boy of Australian singer songwriters for over eight years and something tells me it’s to do with a lot more than his six pack and beautiful face. That’s not to say they don’t help, though…

Blue Sky Blue is his fourth studio album and sees little variation from his tried and tested formula of soft vocals, clever chords and painfully heartfelt metaphors. Whilst 2005’s See The Sun was an album full of optimism tinged with the occasional depressing twist and 2008’s Summer at Eureka seemed dedicated to his young children, this album reflects the latest changes in his life.

Since his last album’s release Murray has separated from his wife and, whilst not outright stated in the album in the album, it’s evident that heartache has influenced the songwriting process. “All the led is gone” seems metaphoric for a relationship that’s ran out of fuel in the electric guitar introduced Led. There’s also an abundance of similes in Let You Go. Aided by female backing vocals, there’s something particularly heartfelt when Murray sings “I curse the day when I see that lonely smile, but it’s better than playing pretend”.

There’s a lot of autobiographical content in H.O.L.L.A.N.D too. Murray lived there for some of the third quarter of the last decade and he reflects fondly singing “in my heart you’ll stay”. The edgier Tattoo Stained is the token electric guitar track towards the end of the album. It was This Pill in See The Sun, Miss Cold in Summer at Eureka and this latest offering continues to keep Murray sounding like an Australian John Mayer.

The two lead singles, Always a Winner and Free are probably the catchiest of the album – the former was an obvious choice for the first release – but neither offers a complete snapshot of everything the album has to offer. It seems his life is his music and that his music is his life; they both influence each other and the results are musically, if not personally, phenomenal. And so whilst the album ends on the lyrically forlorn Vacant, there is nothing missing from this latest musical offering. No matter what life throws at him, Pete Murray will always be a winner when it comes to songwriting. He is, quite simply, the king of the metaphor.