Pete Murray – See The Sun
Pete Murray has written and sung three albums, been on numerous tours and had several hits in Australia. Yet over here he’s most likely to be found in a tiny venue in Soho rather than in an arena. That’s not to say he’s not popular here. He’s managed to sell out Brixton Academy before. Yet last year his three performances at The Borderline near Tottenham Court Road tube station were watched by just a small number of his fans. Fans that included me. On all three nights. At this stage you should probably have worked out that this is going to be yet another biased review. And it is. Because See The Sun is possibly the most inspiring album I own.
Opportunity is the most uplifting song I’ve ever heard. It might not have the quickest beat. It might not have a sickeningly catchy chorus. It might not even have been heard of over here. But I love it. “Your coffee’s warm but your milk is sour/life is short but you’re here to flower” is just one of the lines that’s been crafted into the verses to make you reflect on your own life and encourage you to make the most of it. It’s also the verse that Brett Wood, Pete’s guitarist, made his own at The Borderline gigs. He made it different. Not better. It was equally brilliant vocally; it just changed the song a bit and allowed for a different version to greet my ears.
The chorus sings of the chances you get to escape your boring routine, and how, if you don’t take those chances, they’ll just fade away. The principle of the song is so simple but it’s just something that you never really hear in the right way to inspire change. Ultimately, it was this one song, perhaps combined with Better Days and a bit of self confidence that caused me to change my attitude to life and become an altogether happier person.
The aforementioned Better Days carries a similar message. Once again, Pete sings to encourage you. Lyrically, the song speaks sense. We all have our bad days. So why not think about the good times and how we’ll get through the tougher times to have some more favourable memories.
Class A, Trust, This Pill and Remedy all show off Pete’s guitar playing ability. Pete doesn’t just write good songs. He also sings good songs. And, wow, he can also play good songs. Back in 2006, he performed a duet with my other favourite guitarist, John Mayer, at the ARIA’s. It was something special that I recommend you take a look at here.
In George’s Helper a herd of trumpets suddenly appear and lead into some soft vocals from Pete. They become harsher and louder as the song progresses but return to fade out at the end, creating an almost cyclical structure to the song. Pete’s soft vocals can also be found in Lost Soul when he, once again, sings of optimism. I’m not sure what had been going on in his life when this album was written, but he seems to be rather reflective and wanting to encourage others to be positively reflective on their own lives.
Any song titled Smile has to make your mouth twinge to justify it being given that name. Admittedly, the sound of Pete’s voice immediately brightens my day so it’s not much of a task. Yet I believe that even you, yes you, could find yourself smiling at something that’s cheered you up previously. This album couldn’t be depressing if you wanted it to be. Contrast it to my other favourite album at the time I listened to it, Missy Higgins’ The Sound of White and it’s pretty clear to see that the latter has a rather darker mood to it.
A song written about a girl. A song written about hope. A song written about dreams. All of these topics have been amalgamated to construct Fly With You. It’s not truly heartfelt by any means. But it’s been constructed carefully enough to make a pleasant listening experience. The chorus is not as strong as the verses, but in the last choruses Pete’s voice is allowed to shine through holding notes for a while to show it off.
Security is also about a possible love. It’s got some cute lyrics that make you wish it was written about you. But it’s not. It’s yet another song about a failed relationship.
The title track, See The Sun is sung in a slightly drained voice. Pete sounds emotionally drained and that just adds to the character of the song. The chorus has some words that aren’t always totally comprehendible if you are just casually listening to it. This song, along with the entire album, deserves attention. And when you give it that attention, it becomes something beautiful. Each song has been written to evoke you. You might be wanting to cry on the inside, but Pete knows how to lift your spirits and direct you to a much brighter future.