Daily Song Study

Peter Murphy – Cuts You Up

In songs on December 2, 2011 at 10:32 am

I’ve mentioned the idea of instrumental hooks before, and here’s a case where that takes on as much importance as the vocal melody.

I’ve long been a fan of Peter Murphy’s low, off-kilter voice, but its pairing with a viola (I think?) on this track is absolutely perfect. The lyrics are characteristically spacey, perhaps nonsensical, but they fit the music well regardless. One of the key parts of what makes this work is the chorus addendum that occurs a couple of times in the song, which is then augmented by an additional melody to make the ending truly climactic.

There’s a lot of attention to detail in this tune, and yet a touch of what one might call controlled chaos towards the end. A delicate balance, and one that Murphy himself has been hard-pressed to duplicate.

  1. […] did bring some of the decade’s greatest audio triumphs (Graceland, So, The Joshua Tree, Deep, and Violator, among others). This may not quite reach those vaunted heights, but it shares many of […]

  2. […] We’ve spoken here before about controlled chaos, and at their best, R.E.M. were excellent at the art. […]

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