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Monday, 29 October 2007

Monocle de Moloko

Eyewear is sad to hear the eye of Roisin Murphy (pictured) has been injured in Russia. Murphy should recover, though her Eastern European tour has been shelved due to her near-optical concussion. There is an irony in this, perhaps, since her new album is Overpowered.

The idea of Irish electronica-dance music is slightly far-fetched, but Murphy's latest is actually wonderful, within the groove of its genre. I've long felt that music is a derangement of the senses no worse than opiates or wines - or carnal knowledge - and so should also be allowed its wild, silly moments, as well as its austere, or heightened ones. One rarely makes love to Wagner, or would want to boogie all night to Bach.

Madonna and The Doors, for instance, are both mood stimulants, and purveyors of bottled lust, released like pheromones via stylus or wireless. Sounds carry - and they transport us. Overpowered is merely trashy dancefloor pop but is also, within its tawdry, midnight realm, sublime. Mirrorball sublime yes, but disco's sublunar (and gilt, guiltless) pleasures are also worth pursuing. Murphy's impressive vocals veer appropriately between 80s strip-club Tina Turner, and early Annie Lennox - at once Motown and robotic (cars built by machines, then). The album's production emphasises this circa 81 Depeche Mode tone, and swirls and bleeps in lovely retro fashion. Meanwhile, "science struggles to explain ... a chemical needing is there in the brain" - as she plays with po-faced lexicons of science and love. A cheeky, often ironic work, then, that also delivers bravura song after bravura song that makes one want to dance. Four out of Five specs.
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