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Track Review: Róisín Murphy “Murphy’s Law”

What is with love’s obsession with inevitability? Róisín Murphy finds old flames inescapable on “Murphy’s Law”, another release on a hot streak with producer Richard Barratt. It pushes her into more of a pop realm with an immaculate groove that swirls around an imaginary dance floor where love just could be reignited. Unlike the dangerously mesmerizing “Incapable”, the instrumentation here sounds confident and luminous. Murphy’s tone starts out contemplating and mournful as she struggles to break through that post break-up self scrutiny and doubt. Yet when the chorus begins to sparkle with enticing tensions, out pours her pure Sisyphean psychology. “And just when everything is goin’ alright/Murphy’s law gonna strike again”, she sounds firm yet nonchalant, as if the futility is destined and expected. The small town background she’s set for this failed endeavor only reinforces the suffocating nature of the circle.

The central concept here, Murphy’s law, brilliantly plays into Murphy’s own name and muddies its universality with a personal narrative. Is she the puppet master of all the touch and go, or is it just a case study of faulty wiring of human psyche? Whether it’s Murphy’s law, or (Róisín) Murphy’s law, she manages to find a silver lining of such dire situations while she commands it to “keep on/keep on/keep on/keep on” in the end with a newly attained thrill.

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