Marty Willson-Piper – Nightjar

Marty Willson-Piper - Nightjar

Marty Willson-Piper - Nightjar

Marty Willson-Piper is known more as the guitarist for the Australian 80’s band The Church than for his solo career, even though Nightjar is his 6th solo album. But instead of like a fine wine that grows better with age, it appears Willson-Piper’s music has fermented for too long and has lost some flavor. It’s not quite all sour grapes however, but more like a wrinkled old raisin without much taste.

The guitarist who was once responsible for the jangly and textured neo-psychedelic melodies of The Church now dallies in a more adult-like and delicate soft-rock. The music on Nightjar is bittersweet, reflective and pleasant, but mostly pedestrian. The songs are moderately pleasing and not unenjoyable, yet nothing spectacularly breathtaking either. The gently strummed guitars, dreamy keyboards and hushed drums provide the listener with amiable and melodic tunes that won’t have you reaching for the stop button but also don’t have enough twists and turns to create much interest or anything real memorable that would make you want to press repeat.

The personal lyrics attempt to be poignant and introspective but are mostly straightforward and dull and at times a bit too pretentious. Combined with a distractively strained alto delivery, they end up diluting what minimal appeal these tunes may have had to begin with.

Occasionally some bright instrumental flourishes are added to the warm melodies to give the songs some juice but it’s nothing to get excited about since they’re neither grabbing nor contagious and act more like worn out window dressings to the prosaic song structures and their gentle acoustics.

The Church completists may want to pick it up Nightjar but otherwise you’re not missing out on anything spectacular.

Marty Willson-Piper

Second Motion Records