fri 26/05/2017

CD: Morcheeba - Head Up High | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Morcheeba - Head Up High

CD: Morcheeba - Head Up High

There's good stuff on Morcheeba's eighth - but not enough of it

It's a bigger beast, containing uptempo funk and rock flavours but, unfortunately, the songs themselves are less consistent than on its predecessor
The hills are alive with the sound of Morcheeba

Morcheeba are sometimes dismissed as makers of dinner party music, of being the trio who drove the triphop juggernaut started by Massive Attack down an easy-listening dead end. Such a view, however, ignores the quality of their songwriting, especially their first two albums, featuring the impeccable likes of “The Sea”, “Trigger Hippy” and “Part of the Process”. For my money, their song with Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner, “What New York Couples Fight About?”, from their fourth album Charango, is a 24 carat classic, as lovely a lament for the confusions of lovers’ arguments as has ever been written.

Whatever their snider critics say, it seems doubtful that, with a few million sales under their belts, Morcheeba are too bothered. Lead Singer Skye Edwards left for seven years but reunited with the band’s core of brothers, Paul and Ross Godfrey, in 2010. This is their second album since. Where the last one, Blood Like Lemonade, was delicate and heartfelt, a return to their early sound, Head Up High tries for something more opulent. It’s a bigger beast, containing uptempo funk and rock flavours but, unfortunately, the songs themselves are less consistent than on its predecessor.

There’s still much to enjoy. The single “Gimme Your Love” is a chunky, beatsy song that stands up beside former glories, Rizzle Kicks ramp up the fun factor on “To Be”, a bubbly tale that ends with steaks marinated in MDMA and meth-amphetamine, the steroid dub-thump of “Make Believer” is begging for a club remix, and Chilean-French rapper Ana Tijoux adds Hispanic zest to “Hypnotized”. Skye’s voice is always a pleasure too – crisp, sweet and very English - but bland numbers such as “I’ll Fall Apart” and “Call It Love” (the latter featuring White Denim’s James Petralli) lower the overall appeal. Like most bands in it for the long haul, from Air to Motorhead, Morcheeba know their craft well enough to always deliver to their fans, but maybe this is one to cherry pick rather than consume whole.

Overleaf: watch the video for "Gimme Your Love"

Comments

Dreary album from a boring band that should have called it a day years ago. Utter mush.

Yeah this lot are dreadful. They're a complete joke in the industry but they take themselves SO seriously. What a bunch of a holes.

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