Moloko return with an album that is fresh, keeping all the things that are good, but...
Lucy Davies 2003-02-24
Roisin Murphy and Mark Brydonare back with the unmistakable sound of Moloko. Following 2000's Things to Make and Do,they return with an album that is fresh, keeping all the things that are good, buttoning down their darker side,and adding a more mature element, encompassing upset and sadness.
The quality of Roisin's voice, recorded intimately close to the mic, carries off the trademark posturing dramatics of the music. Sometimes this expresses unrequited love, as in "I Want You", and "Blow X Blow". Never before has heartbreak sounded so glamorous: many a jilted soul will find comfort in the vamped up confessions, backed always by contradictory cheerful latin inspired beats.
The opening floor filler "Familiar Feeling" has one to the best introductions heard for a long time: starting with Hammond noodlings,latin guitar and beats, flourishes of fiddles build up tension to an impossible level. The track appears to halt, then start afresh, with Roisin expressing a laid back philosophy: " I never doubted it: What's for you, won't pass you by". Self assured and going with the flow, the oncoming chorus is big enough to justify all that building up and knocking down.
Butin "Come on", they're back in that slightly dementeddark side, melodies leaping all over the place with snapping rhythms, outlined by electronic sounds singing along. Witha refrain of "ha ha ha" - you have the feeling that even though they might know that they're not quite all there, they're going to enjoy themselves.
One of the things that sets Moloko apart from other dance duos is their handling of instrumentation, often with simply structuredsongs renewing themselves time and time again, as they find new ways to say the same thing.In Statues this is something that they've excelled in once again. "Over and Over", the final track, conveys the ending of a relationship with eloquence and grace. Areal feeling of spaciousness has been achieved dramatic and beautifully produced strings, harmonised vocals repeating "over and over" rising and rising. Combining string glissandos with electric guitar, and death knells of huge orchestral chimes, the album closes as dramatically as it began.
These are real artists, and they know their medium as well as they know the craft of writinga song: beautifully.