I'm busy, busy, busy. Plus we're caring for yet another puppy (anybody want a puppy?), so I'm turning this here blog over to my friend Ted. He has something he really wants to say (hint: this is one of those MUSIC posts).
Ro Ro Ro Your Boat
By Ted Norton
Word has swept the world of Ex Moloko singer Roisin Murphy’s debut album for EMI UK. “Overpowered” will be released in theory next week in England, but the postal strike is threatening to delay shipments. Thus a “loverly” suspense is now in place after the album was, somewhat-serendipitously, leaked on the web this weekend. Roisin’s newly-amassed following of gay euro-clubbers (some of them returning to the Murphy fold with fond memories of Moloko’s “Sing it Back”) buzzed the discussion boards of every big name popstress in the business. Most notably, the Madonna, Kylie, and Goldfrapp discussion boards were awash in the discussion of this scene-stealers latest release.
Murphy is not only an engaging lyricist, but a seasoned and provocative artist of considerable breadth, and depth. “Overpowered” is one of the most well-rounded pop releases in history, featuring everything from revived-cowbell-disco on crack (“Cry Baby”) to the gorgeous reggae-tinged lullaby “Scarlet Ribbons” (a song written for her father), which showcases one the most promising vocal talents to emerge from the ashes of ’90s trip hop. Roisin’s current U.K. single “Let Me Know” nonchalantly serves up a jawdropping homage to Dusty Springfield that’s already got the entire industry gazing upon her with the look of love. Springfield has never been imitated with such finesse.
The real showstopper is a track produced by iLL FACTOR (a rapidly-rising whiz-kid based in the Miami ). “Primitive” is pure Moloko: thought provoking, spooky, and a wee bit goofy, but iLL’s production is pure classic rock drama filtered through a latin-influenced hip hop sensibility and showcases one of his trademarks: a percussive male backing that has been likened to “a frog chorus spouting Right Said Fred samples,” but is infinitely scarier. Murphy has apparently mastered the art of dynamics in her time away, and the resulting track is not unlike the thought of Shirley Bassey singing the Pixies “Monkey Gone to Heaven” with said frog chorus singing from the audience. This one track has created such a buzz that some are now rumoring EMI to have started the postal strike in order to be able to fill shipments of the album!
Some of Murphy’s fans might argue whether EMI could successfully arrange anything: their A&R department insulted Murphy, her fanbase and their own profession by publicly disparaging her last work (released on an EMI distributed label) entitled “Ruby Blue,” which was universally applauded by the critical community but failed to achieve top 40 sales. Despite the lack of U.S. distribution that kept the album from Stateside consumers for a year and half after its release, several of the album’s standout tracks were deemed good enough for television (“Gray’s Anatomy” and “So You Think You Can Dance” both featured songs from the album). During what was supposed to be promotion for the new album, Murphy’s rep. stated that the work was something she “had to get out of her system.” Murphy’s classic response to her A&R man’s gaff: “says more about him than it does about me.”
It’s pronounced “Ro-sheen” with an accent on the first syllable. “Overpowered” can be ordered now as an import title from all the major online retailers, and purchased through overseas digital services. You will be hearing her name a LOT in the coming year.
Roisin on YouTube:
Let Me Know