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Matt McGrath

CD of The Week

Week of 7/27/20

    Love Fame Tragedy - Wherever I Go, I Want To Leave (Arioki)

    The Wombats have undoubtedly been the stalwarts of well-crafted indie rock music for the last decade, so when lead singer Matthew "Murph" Murphy leapt onto the scene with a solo project called Love Fame Tragedy, expectations were high. Named after a Picasso exhibition, LFT released two EPs over the last year which have wound up on their 17-track full length called Wherever I Go, I Want To Leave. Here, Murph bares his heart and soul with a deeper exploration into his psyche. Themes of love, anxiety, self-deprecation, and aging dominate this album, and not a single song suffers for it. Each track could stand on its own.

    Murph brought in a herd of collaborators to bring this project to light, including Joey Santiago (Pixies), Matt Stoermer (The Killers), and superstar drummer Matt Chamberlain (too many to name, look him up). The intensity starts right out of the gates with "5150," named for a California police code indicating that an individual needs to be hospitalized because they pose a hazard to themselves or others due to probable mental health issues. Feelings of intense love and lust continue on standout tracks "Body Parts" and "Hardcore," in which Murph states that "You're so hardcore, you make me want to start a band." Perhaps this subject matter was the genesis for LFT?

    Living in the digital age of social media works its way into the lyrics, with a nod to algorithms ("You Take the Fun Out Of Everything"). The Decemberists are channeled during the short, beautiful acoustic respite entitled "Please Don't Murder Me (Part 2)." "Everything Affects Me Now" puts it on the line as he grapples with his mid-life existential crisis; "Now I'm wiser than my father, No one left to show me how." On "Multiply," Murph continues to sum up his mentality with a bit of reckless hope: "My heads a little bit fucked but I feel fine, I put all my chips on 17." Perhaps this a nod to the 17 tracks he's just shamelessly put on display as LFT.

    Musically, Murph is more adventurous here; there are forays into synth grooves, house music, and even soul and R&B. Thankfully LFT avoids the traps of indie-pop drudgery that other contemporaries sometimes struggle with. Wherever I Go, I Want To Leave is the perfect dollop of heart-on-your-sleeve inspiration to help us deal with the consternation of this dumpster fire that is 2020.
    Review by Dave Lindquist

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