Perhaps the stars were right, or perhaps his American company, flush from the unexpected success of Murphy's former bandmates in Love and Rockets, just decided to give Murphy a well-deserved publicity push. Whatever it was, with Deep Murphy scored an honest to goodness American radio/MTV hit thanks to the tender, lively "Cuts You Up," a love song with solid energy and an inspired vocal. It was a perfect calling card for the album as a whole, with Murphy in excelsis throughout and his Hundred Men providing everything from the lush, acoustic guitar wash of "Marlene Dietrich's Favorite Poem" to the stripped-down Arabic-tinged funk/hip-hop punch of the commanding "Roll Call." Through it all, Murphy simply sounds like he's having the time of his life, singing both for the sheer joy of it and for the dramatic power of his commanding voice. He's even comfortable enough to do an open rewrite of Bauhaus' "In the Flat Field," renamed "The Line Between the Devil's Teeth"; it has almost the same verse structure, definitely some of the same lyrics, but still, it's something he could have only done in his solo days. Quite why nothing else on the album connected with the public as strongly as "Cuts You Up" is a mystery; its follow-up single, "A Strange Kind of Love," was a striking love song, with acoustic guitar and plaintive Statham keyboards supporting one of Murphy's strongest lyrics and performances. Regardless, Deep showed Murphy balancing mass appeal and his own distinct art with perfection. AMG.