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Chris Murray - Raw (Cover Artwork)

Chris Murray

Chris Murray: RawRaw (2003)
Asian Man Records

Reviewer Rating: 3
User Rating:


Contributed by: maverickScott
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Well, the album title didn't lie - This album definitely is raw. Chris Murray, former frontman for defunct ska band King Apparatus, has compiled 14 more of his 4-track rocksteady recordings for his second proper album on Asian Man Records. While his previous album on Asian Man, "4-Trackaganza!",.
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Well, the album title didn't lie - This album definitely is raw. Chris Murray, former frontman for defunct ska band King Apparatus, has compiled 14 more of his 4-track rocksteady recordings for his second proper album on Asian Man Records.

While his previous album on Asian Man, "4-Trackaganza!", was also recorded with a 4-track, it contained a wider instrumentation than this album, which essentially just Chris and an acoustic guitar. The recordings on here, complete with little spoken intros and tape fuzz, showcase the superb songwriting skills of Murray, as well as his uncanny ability to place killer hooks in virtually every track.

But it's those hooks that essentially weigh this album down, instead of propping it up. Many of the songs contain simplistic one phrase choruses, and while it's catchy the first dozen times, when it's repeated dozens more in just a 3 or 4 minute span, it starts to grate on one's nerves. This also pertains to the aforementioned instrumentation - it's just a guitar and a voice. While Murray's gorgeous baritone is as lush as someone's can get on a 4-track, hearing the same upstrokes for 41 minutes straight also starts to press buttons.

But still, if you can look past the repetitiveness of the disc, this is a great capsule of the basic ska/rocksteady sound. Murray even co-wrote a song ["Make The Best"] with ska legend Neville Staple, who also sings on the track. Besides that, if you like the idea of a man and his guitar [and not being called Dashboard Confessional], give this a listen.

AUDIO
I'm Ready For Love
We Do The Ska

VIDEO
Switchblade To Soul

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
adam (June 15, 2003)

Fuzz, I havent heard it yet. Mr. Park dosen't send me stuff. An as for being the "ska man with the plan"... you know it/ Just wait until I reveal the A... I've said too much.

Anonymous (June 15, 2003)

you raw is the best.

sickboi (June 15, 2003)

Eddie Murphy "Raw" is much better.

Fuzzy (June 14, 2003)

I actually prefer the first album, back when he was Venice Shoreline Chris, on Moon Ska. That may be because I heard it first, at a time when the music I first "clicked" with was being raped by every jerk in a high school band.This CD is incredibly solid, and should be in every person's CD collection.
Oh, why didn't mr. Adam White review this, he being the Ska-man with the master plan up in these parts?

maverick (June 14, 2003)

To the guy below me -

Sorry if my information was inaccurate, Asian Man didn't send me a bio sheet or anything so I just wrote what I knew to be true for his last album. I'm also not a huge ska afficiando, so I apologize for not knowing about the other guest musicians.

But I still think "4-Trackaganza!" is a stronger album than this, it covers more bases.

-Scott

Anonymous (June 14, 2003)

Wow...

Okay first, this is a collection of his walkman recordings. All these tracks were recorded into his HANDHELD WALKMAN. Big difference. :)

Second, Deston Berry and Alex Dessert of Hepcat fame also cameo on Justin Hinds cover "The Higher The Monkey Climb"

Third, Go Jimmy Go members appear in the live "Rocksteady" from a show in San Francisco.

Personally I think this is his best solo work yet. It's a testament to his ability as a songwriter to be able to create such wonderful music with nearly the least amount of production possible.

He proves that not only is ska not dead, it's better than ever. This album is an instant classic and if you have any interest in ska at all you MUST own this album.

Fuzzy (June 13, 2003)

Everything this man touches is gold. LOOOVELY.

travis (June 13, 2003)

this is a good album, but not as good as his last two. at least that is my opinion.

adam (June 13, 2003)

King Apparatus ruled.

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