Review Summary: Soon I'll smile, I know I'll feel this loneliness no more, all of my days
Alexi Murdoch has quickly become one of those guys whose music is featured in a ton of shows and movies and yet nobody has any clue whom he is. For example, his song “Orange Sky” alone has been used in The O.C., House, Prison Break, Ladder 49, Ugly Betty, Dirty Sexy Money, and Garden State. Quite a large list of appearances, with absolutely no actual exposure or record sales, for the young Scotsman. When “Orange Sky” was played on The O.C., music execs from many major label companies knocked at the door, and in response Alexi did the most indie thing you can; start your own record label. That record label is called Zero Summer, which is ironic because Time Without Consequence
, as the title suggests, is the perfect lazy summer album.
Alexi Murdoch writes quiet, almost ambling acoustic songs that depend entirely on his soft, warm tenor. He has a very distinct and very beautiful voice, and he uses it in a way that compliments his minimalist approach to songwriting. Opener “All My Days”, on top of having beautiful instrumentation, is peppered with honest and heartfelt lyrics. His lyrics, especially on “Orange Sky”, give you the vibe that he is devoutly religious in some way or another, which would make sense as this release was distributed through Razor & Tie. His lyrical work is simple, yet always feels genuine. When he sings a line like “Well I have been quietly standing in the shade. all of my days, watch the sky breaking on the promise that we made, all of this rain” off “All My Days”, you can’t help but smile. He can sing love songs without sounding overly cutesy, or overly Jack Johnson-y either. His voice feels like a warm blanket, always smooth and self-assured in its purpose. Alexi never has a voice that is always on a sort of even keel, never uneasy or anxious; Alexi Murdoch will never be confused with Dallas Green.
This needs to be said, as it gets brought up a lot around Alexi Murdoch; he is also often compared to Nick Drake, and for a reason. Their vocal patterns share commonalities, and their acoustic guitar work is both fantastic. However, the biggest difference is in the vibe of their music more than anything else. Listening to Nick Drake at times feels like re-living happy moments in your mind of a girl who slipped through your fingers, while Alexi Murdoch feels like you are in a hammock at the end of a beautiful day with your girlfriend, full of slow walks along the beach, maybe an ice cream cone, and watching the sun go down in each other’s arms. When he is at his most experimental it still isn’t stressful; it feels like you are in a rush to catch a movie time, which is of course nothing big, you can see the later showing. This is the greatest strength and only weakness of the album, the laid-back nature of the instrumentation at times betrays the message in his lyrics.
Alexi Murdoch has crafted a soft, beautiful, low stress album. The album is a wonderful lazy summer album. The song-writing is superb, and Alexi Murdoch’s voice envelops you in a way that diminishes your care in the things that are wrong. Time Without Consequence
does not seem like the debut it is, as Alexi seems way too comfortable and self-assured in terms of his song-writing and his vocal range. This is one of the better acoustic albums to come out in the 00’s, and one that makes it nearly impossible to be sad, at least just for an hour.