I am a Bauhaus fan (well, sort of). I first heard of those guys through some DJ friends, who also told me that this group had all the members of Love and Rockets (a group I really adore), plus a singer called Peter Murphy. I have heard goth groups before (Cocteau Twins, Christian Death, and of course, the most famous, The Cure in its early years, among others). I decided to give those guys a try, and I really loved them.
I knew Peter Murphy had a solo career. Indeed, I have heard the man’s name other times, but I never felt an inclination on exploring him, until very recently. But one fine day, I found some used records by Murphy, and decided that it was about time to take a listen to him. After all, he was the lead singer of Bauhaus. That day, I decided to buy Deep.
I expected Peter Murphy to keep the same darkness that characterized Bauhaus, but maybe with an obvious evolution (just like Love and Rockets, particularly in their early years). But I was really surprised when I listened to this record; Bauhaus’ darkness seemed to be left behind a great deal. Deep’s music was more accessible than that of any Bauhaus records, but it keeps the same quality that characterizes them (or Love and Rockets). Even more, in listening to such beautiful and delicate ballads as “Marlene Dietritch’s Favorite Poem” and “A Strange Kind of Love (Part One)” or exquisite pop songs like “Cuts You Up,” I could hardly believe that this was the same guy who sang (and wrote) “Double Dare.”
Along with these three beautiful themes, there is the mysteriously delightful “Deep Ocean, Vast Sea,” where Murphy’s perversely baritone voice is contrasted with accessible, yet low-key pop melodies. There’s the delightful, atmospheric “Crystal Wrists,” the two elegant versions of “Role Call,” and “Shy,” which could easily fit on U2’s The Unforgettable Fire. A few reminiscences of Bauhaus (both musically and lyrically) can be found in “The Line Between the Devil’s Teeth.”
Ah… The lyrics, except for the aforementioned “The Line Between the Devil’s Teeth,” I found them much more mature and reflective, putting more emphasis on love and human condition than on demons, vampires and blasphemy. And this new sensibility didn’t seem to take his cleverness away.
I don’t know other Murphy records; perhaps those would be darker, perhaps as angelic and sensitive like this one… I will see when I buy them. One thing is certain, Deep is the record that made me feel the sensation of demons who had redeemed themselves and become angels.
Written by Pekky Marquez.
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I've also written for Christ and Pop Culture, ScreenAnarchy, Filmwell, and Christian Research Journal. I pay the bills by creating beautiful user interfaces and websites for Firespring and Red Bicycle.