23 December 2008
BEST ALBUMS OF 2008: #5
5. Róisín Murphy - OVERPOWERED
This is where the album/year distinction gets fuzzy. Ex-Moloko vocalist Murphy's second solo effort came out in Europe in 2007, and was supposed to receive a domestic release in 2008. As of this writing, it's still in limbo, but still rumored to come out at some point. Since I bought it this year (and didn't have to pay import prices for it), for me, it's a 2008 album.
Following the more experimental RUBY BLUE, this is arguably the straightest pop Murphy's ever recorded, with a engagingly retro vibe that references dance floor divas from early Madonna and later Donna Summer to less iconic singers like Lisa Stansfield (check out the jazzy mid-tempo "Checkin' On Me"). Still, few of those ladies would ever think to open an album with a lyric as weird as "You're dating my daughter / the chromosomes match", or passionately sing "I wanna get you out of your cave, man" on the goofy, spooky, hypnotic "Primitive". Fact is, Murphy's personality shines so vividly throughout that even at her most accessible, she's neither derivative nor easily mistaken for anyone else--as if that album cover didn't already clue you in.
Favorite songs: "You Know Me Better", "Checkin' On Me", "Let Me Know", "Primitive"