There is no need to tag this review with Nick Murphy’s former act. Run Fast Sleep Naked is more Ed Sheeran on a sojourn than a Bubble-O-Bill-hat adorned rooftop Boiler Room set.
This is Nick Murphy now. It is commercially soothing, radio-friendly, only “edgy” when he adopts a cool-uncle presence on ‘Harry Takes Drugs on the Weekend’ and when he revisits the industrial sounds of his collabs with Flume.
Rick Rubin’s touch, unfortunately, might not have extended much further here than the suggestion to switch stage-name. The eleven tracks oscillate between Murphy’s new persona and something, someone, less inhibited—like an office worker on weekends.
The Murphy we were familiar with peeks his head through the veneer on ‘Some People’ and ‘Sunlight’, like a house plant you bought for responsibility might do, looking for the light to grow. Perhaps the dirty-30 is Murphy’s turning point— Run Fast Sleep Naked is his proverbial “grown up” job.
There’s substance in ‘Novocaine and Coco Cola’—an otherwise vapid title—that’s something promising to expand on.
Murphy doesn’t owe us edge though, no. He doesn’t have to fit a role we want for him. It’s ‘different’ to see him like this, sure. Like Will Ferrell in “Everything Must Go”, it will take some getting used to.
Reviewed by Darby-Perrin Larner