Jeff Murphy | Cantilever

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Pop: Beatles-pop Pop: Power Pop Moods: Solo Male Artist
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Cantilever

by Jeff Murphy

The first solo disc by SHOES' member Jeff Murphy that harkens back to a stripped-down, home-recorded approach ala Emitt Rhodes or the first McCartney disc. Lotsa melodies and harmonies.
Genre: Pop: Beatles-pop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. I'm a Tool For You
3:08 $0.99
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2. A Couple of Words
3:00 $0.99
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3. Never Let You Go
3:25 $0.99
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4. Havin' a Bad Day
2:41 $0.99
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5. You're An Icon
3:37 $0.99
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6. You Never Listen to Me
3:40 $0.99
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7. Some Day Soon
2:50 $0.99
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8. It Happens All the Time
3:14 $0.99
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9. She Don't Drive
2:57 $0.99
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10. Won't Take Yes For An Answer
3:25 $0.99
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11. Unconditional Love
3:03 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Jeff Murphy, from the perenial band SHOES, ventures out on his own in this first solo CD. This 11-song collection was self-produced and engineered at home, in the spirit of the first McCartney album, Emitt Rhodes early works and Todd Rundgren's "Something/Anything". Foregoing the use of sequencers, drum machines and the "cut and paste" mentality that dominates much of today's music. Murphy plays all of the instruments on "Cantilever" and returns to the days of real, organic instruments actually played by a human being instead of being programmed and triggered by a computer. The end result is a return to the feel and mood of early works by SHOES with a more stripped-down sound that really allows the melodies and individual instruments to show through.

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Reviews


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Brett Milano-The Boston Phoenix

"...vintage and tuneful power pop..."
By BRETT MILANO
February 26, 2007 4:30:07 PM

From Zion, Illinois, the Shoes were an odd combination of romantics and gearheads, combining classic-model pop songwriting with pristine sonics — their guitar textures were just as expressive as their breathy vocals and chorus hooks. Ten years ago, after half a dozen wonderful albums and almost no live shows, the group stopped operating; singer/guitarist Jeff Murphy’s solo debut is the first music from any Shoes members since. He keeps the mix of classic and contemporary intact: “I’m a Tool for You” opens the disc with a sonic quote from Todd Rundgren’s “I Saw the Light,” but Murphy’s choice of romantic metaphors (“Let me be your digital wave”) is right up to date. The Rundgren nod is no coincidence: this is a solo album in the early-’70s sense of one guy playing all the instruments, before drum machines made more shortcuts possible. Homages are also paid to other solo recordists of that time, from Paul McCartney and cult hero Emitt Rhodes to Stevie Wonder (whose favorite Clavinet sound turns up on “Couple of Words”). The sonic touches — banjo and accordion here, the ever-popular jangly 12-string there — make the disc fun, but the songwriting is what resonates. Most of the disc is vintage and tuneful power pop, but the higher-reaching finale, “Unconditional Love,” is infused with both spirituality and Brian Wilson; call it a grown-up symphony to God.
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Ken Barnes-USA Today

"...a delightfully unpretentious batch of supremely melodic tunes."
Jeff Murphy, Cantilever (recently out): A principal in The Shoes, who have survived as one of the premier (and pioneering) power-pop bands for more than three decades, Murphy goes it solo and (relatively) lo-fi. That undercuts the impact of the songs a bit at first, but by the time you're done, you realize this is a delightfully unpretentious batch of supremely melodic tunes.
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Ken Tucker-EW.com

"...glorious instant-classic..."
Power Pop Song Of The Month, Maybe The Year: “I’m A Tool For You” on Jeff Murphy’s Cantilever (BlackVinyl) Murphy, one-third of the legendary 70s-80s-90s power-pop trio Shoes, has released his first solo album, and begins it with this glorious instant-classic, an irresistible proclamation of love with chiming harmonies and guitars, and propulsive drumming—all played and produced by Murphy himself.
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Aaron Kupferberg-Powerpopaholic

"...an organic sounding album with more hooks than a bait and tackle shop."
This is just a fun album. Jeff Murphy of the legendary power pop group Shoes has put together an organic sounding album with more hooks than a bait and tackle shop. The song "I'm a Tool for You" sounds a little like Lindsey Buckingham mixed with McCartney on a sunny day. The ballad "Unconditional Love" has a slow dreamy quality, not unlike my favorite Moodly Blues ballads of the 70s. The closest thing to Shoes here is a jangle mid-tempo number "It Happens all the Time," but alot of this is Jeff doing his best to spread his wings and enjoy the process without trying to "sound" like a Shoes record. In my opinion he hits solid gold with the song "Won't take Yes for an Answer," an amazing hard driving guitar pop classic that stands with the best work he's ever done. This album easily makes my "best of 2007" list so far. It's for sale at Not Lame and CD Baby and this one will make you smile!

9 out of 10!
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Angel Sieg

Awesome, Jeff...
It sounds great from what i have heard off the samples here. Look forward to getting it. I already have most of the Shoes music, recently got some CDs here due to the fact I wore the LPs out haha. Great to see the music lives on.
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Marquis from Corpus Christi, Tx

Bravo, Jeff! Bravo!
It's about time someone brings back a fresh sense of "organic" sound to music...And, who to do it best: Jeff Murphy (formerly of The Shoes...Which is STILL the best pop band around). "Unconditional Love" with its haunting harmonies and Hammond organ-like sounds, is like a cross between The Beach Boys' "Kokomo", and The Beatles' "Blue Jay Way", respectively. "It Happens All The Time", another Jeff Murphy gem, reminds me of a sappy, Italian-esque, festival, complete with a string quartet...Very good, and leaves an emotional, good feeling, akin to a child celebrating a birthday at Chuck E. Cheese. "Someday Soon", another good song, is a reminder that Jeff Murphy has forgot his SHOES roots!
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Robert Joosten

All records should be made this way!
I can't decide which song I like best, "I'm a tool for you" is fun, I like "She don't drive". They're all good though.
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David Pope

Cantilever
I heard about this on NPR and I thought enough of what I heard to chase down the album. I am impressed with the lyrics, and the melodies really are original and catchy. Nothing more to say, except that I'm glad I stumbled upon your work, and that I look forward to hearing more from you!
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Blaine Lafler

I enjoyed this interesting and easy moving CD. Good job Jeff!
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Steve Hoge

The Badfinger album that never was.
Jeff Murphy channels the same hook-heavy melodic approach as vintage Badfinger, emphasizing guitar+vocal harmonies with clever - if slightly downbeat - lyrics. Check out Never Let You Go for the best example of a track that sounds like it might have been originally released on BF's timeless Straight Up album. He even emulates the slightly overcompressed analog sound that gave albums of that era a somewhat insular quality. 30 years ago this album would have generated a handful of top-20 singles; today, it's a comfy throwback for all of us boomers who would never have heard of it if it hadn't been reviewed on NPR.
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