Tuned In To Music

Reflections from a lifetime

Review: Roisin Murphy, Overpowered

Roisin Murphy was the singer with Moloko until the band split in 2002.  “Overpowered” is her first solo album proper after 2005’s “Ruby Blue” a collection of previously released EPs.  roisin murphyWorking with several producers Murphy cowrote all the songs on “Overpowered”.  The result is a solid collection of dance pop with several outstanding tunes.

Title track and album opener “Overpowered” is a terrific electronica driven dance number.  Murphy’s delivery of the chorus “As science struggles on to try to explain / Oxytocsin’s flowin’ ever into my brain” is one of the best vocal hooks I’ve heard this year.  “Movie Star” is a big driviing dance production number that makes you really want to hear Murphy backed by the Scissor Sisters and singing duets with the Sister’s vocalist Jake Shears.  Over the course of it’s thirteen tracks “Overpowered” hits on modern versions of just about every dance pop style that’s been popular since disco in the ’70s.  Even though the styles are familiar, the variety of producers and Murphy’s generally smart lyrics keep things fresh.

Although the cover photo of an outlandishly dressed Murphy sitting in a diner makes speculations about her sharing a costume designer with Bjork inevitable, the real comparison group for Murphy is Goldfrapp and, as some commentators would have it, Oldfrapp (aka Madonna who probably despises the Oldfrapp moniker given what I experienced when she was seated at the next table in a restaurant in Paris – but that’s another story).  “Overpowered” is a fully realized dance diva album and Murphy, although less well known than the other two, enters the arena as a very strong contender.  She has a rich and expressive voice, can both sing and write, and almost every song on “Overpowered” works.  If nothing else, it’s hard to imagine Goldfrapp or Madonna having their way with “ox – y- toc – sin” quite as deliciously as Murphy.  If you like Madonna, Goldfrapp or dance pop in general, check this one out.

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01/29/2008 - Posted by | CD reviews, music, music reviews

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