Genre: Alternative / Indie / Pop
Michael Knight is the alter ego of Irish moody pop maestro and all round musical quilt Richie Murphy. His second album, with a title that I'll definitely steal if I ever get around to writing my autobiography, 'I’m Not Entirely Clear How I Ended Up Like This' tumbled out of the envelope earlier this week and made me tingle with anticipation, something that doesn't happen very often! They say you should never judge a book by it's cover but with Knight's new album housed in a case that looks like a well thumbed book subtitled 'A Somewhat Disjointed Narrative in 11 Tableaux' and with lyrics printed in the style of a play it's difficult not to.
So does the album, the follow-up to his critically-acclaimed but unfairly widely ignored 2006 debut 'Youth Is Wasted On The Young', live up to the initial anticipation? Mostly. The lushly arranged yet ever so slightly archaic pop album, a curious mix of the classically orchestral and the cheesy, illuminates and irritates in equal measure.
Opening track 'Dumbshow' is a car crash involving The Crash Test Dummies and The Divine Comedy while the delectably dark 'Coronation Street' sounds more like the theme to a spaghetti western served up by Alex Kapranos (go listen to it and tell me I'm wrong) than a soap opera from oop north. While the self conscious Neil Hannonesque vaudevillian pop of tracks such as 'And The Party Was MY Idea' becomes wearing after a couple of listens Knight's wicked wit with it's rapier like thrusts comes to the rescue just as you're reaching for the off button. Take 'Reading Old Diary Entries' for example with it's opening lines of 'November 8: failed to sell those tapes/nobody likes Menswear anymore'. That's about as cutting as it gets for long forgotten over hyped Britpoppers!
'I'm Not Entirely Clear How I Ended Up Like This' is a decent album that'll bring the smile to the face of a Lehmann's Director.
MP3 - Michael Knight - Coronation Street
MP3 - Michael Knight - When Will You Collect Your Boxes
Michael Knight - Myspace