|Róisín Murphy — Take Her Up to Monto (July 8, 2016)|
Róisín Murphy — Take Her Up to Monto (July 8, 2016) »♦♠♦» “Many a critic has lamented the failure of the record–buying public to embrace Roísín Murphy’s unique pop vision but this is clearly not mass–appeal stuff.” (Guardian) © CMJ Music Marathon Presents Róisín Murphy
Birth name: Róisín Marie Murphy
Born: 5 July 1973, Arklow, County Wicklow, Ireland
Location: Manchester ~ Sheffield ~ London, UK, England
Genre: Electronic / Pop / Experimental
Style: Pop, Electronic
Album release: July 8, 2016
Recorded: 2014~16; RMS Studios, London; Fish Factory Studio, London
Record Label: Play It Again Sam
01. Mastermind 6:36
02. Pretty Gardens 5:07
03. Thoughts Wasted 5:22
04. Lip Service 4:28
05. Ten Miles High 5:20
06. Whatever 2:54
07. Romantic Comedy 5:37
08. Nervous Sleep 7:42
09. Sitting and Counting 3:58
»» All songs written and composed by Róisín Murphy and Eddie Stevens.
• Credits adapted from AllMusic.
»» Róisín Murphy — vocals, composer, art direction, concept, design
»» Eddie Stevens — composer, production, floor tom, flute, guitar, keyboards, percussion, programming, violin, backing vocals
»» Dave DeRose — drums, floor tom
»» Jamie McCreddie — guitar
»» Rob Malarkey — bass
»» Jodie Scantlebury — backing vocals
»» Rhianna Kenny — backing vocals
»» Katie Lambert — production
»» Darius Van Helfteren — mastering
»» Ally McNeil — programming
»» Mark Allawah — engineer
»» Ben Wearing — photography
»» Ian Anderson — art direction, design
♦♠♦ Australian Albums (ARIA) #73
♦♠♦ Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders) #40
♦♠♦ Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia) #153
♦♠♦ Dutch Albums (MegaCharts) #65
♦♠♦ German Albums (Offiziele Top 100) #62
♦♠♦ Irish Albums (IRMA) #22
♦♠♦ Scottish Albums (OCC) #45
♦♠♦ UK Albums (OCC) #41
Similar albums: La Roux — Trouble in Paradise; Moloko — Things to Make and Do.REVIEW
By Benjamin Scheim, JULY 11 2016 / Score: 7.8
»» The underrated Irish post–disco singer returns with her second album in two years after a lengthy dry spell. The songs flit amongst genres, united only by her fearless, restless spirit.
»» Fans of underrated Irish post–disco singer Roisin Murphy rejoiced last year as she finally concluded a lengthy dry spell with the release of her third record, Hairless Toys, ending eight years of near–silence from Murphy since 2007’s excellent Overpowered. It turns out, however, that the levee really broke when she decided to get back to work, because just one year later Murphy is issuing yet another record of additional songs from those same sessions.
»» Unlike other past examples of second records culled from a previous session, Take Her Up to Monto offers neither a strikingly different type of songs as with Radiohead’s Kid A and Amnesiac, nor are they obviously lesser leftovers like on Jay–Z & R. Kelly’s Unfinished Business. Instead, Take Her Up to Monto is more like Disc 2 of a quasi–double album, offering a set of nine tracks that display a similar tone and feel to the eight songs on Hairless Toys, and maintaining the same high level of quality established by its predecessor.
»» That’s not to say though that Take Her Up To Monto is identical to Hairless Toys. Murphy has called the songs of her latest “more extreme: more dynamic or more complex or more pop ... If they were siblings, Hairless Toys would be the nice child and Take Her Up to Monto more of a problem child.” It’s not a dramatic shift, but an evident one — as stable and consistently enjoyable Hairless Toys was, Take Her Up to Monto follows that sonic blueprint but ups the ante with even more experimentation and risk–taking, showcasing Murphy’s range and depth as a songwriter to a fuller extent.
»» Opener “Mastermind” is six–and–a–half minutes of the type of effortless nu–disco of which one could easily imagine Murphy making entire albums. Murphy’s soulful contralto is perfect for the genre, as easily capable of call–and–response as it is of deep–throated dancefloor roars. “Mastermind” is a clear example of how Murphy could be a champion disco diva if she really wanted — imagine her as the voice of a future Hercules & Love Affair album! — but the rest of Take Her Up to Monto attests to Murphy’s greater aspirations.
»» What elevates Take Her Up to Monto — and all of Murphy’s records, frankly — is a fearless, restless spirit. Multi–part tracks like “Thoughts Wasted,” “Ten Miles High,” and “Nervous Sleep” toss the rulebook out the window as Murphy merges genres, sounds and feelings. “Thoughts Wasted” is perhaps the album’s highlight: Beginning with a echoey piano riff, the song starts off as a pop song before violins arrive for a startling minimalist bridge with countermelody that would be more expected on a Bang on a Can album. When Murphy’s voice re–emerges, it’s accompanied by a ghostly choir that signals that song’s third act, a spoken word tour–de–force. Even though lyrics are relatively inscrutable, when Murphy delivers the line, “Humans are fucked,” it pierces. »» On “Nervous Sleep,” the album’s penultimate and longest track at nearly eight minutes, Murphy offers what is more or less a prog epic. Beginning with reverbed whispers, machine bleeps and gently intoned vibraphones, Murphy conjures an aura of sleepy noir that is more enigmatic than nervous. The laconic pacing is perfectly controlled as Murphy calmly shares a story of a couple having problems, her voice sliding mellifluously from narrator to woman to man to chorus. At the end, the song begins breaks down and fade away into air much like those last moments of consciousness before sleep takes you away.
»» Murphy has expressed surprise over the years that she never became a pop star. In the States, she is criminally under–appreciated and even somewhat unknown. But her sensibility has always been too wide–ranging, too challenging, to satisfy the tastes of a mainstream audience. Even the album’s title, a reference to a classic Irish folk song, and cover, a photo of her at a construction site wearing a worker’s jacket and hardhat, say “curious experimentalist” rather than “pop star.” But for connoisseurs of high–end electropop, disco, and dance music, Murphy has so much to offer. Let’s hope now that she’s turning out new music at a rapid clip that more people will begin to notice her. ♦♠♦ http://pitchfork.com/
AllMusic Review by Heather Phares; Score: ****
Alexis Petridis, Thursday 7 July 2016 15.00 BST; Score: ***
|Róisín Murphy — Take Her Up to Monto (July 8, 2016)|