Roisin Murphy has done it again, this time minus Mark Brydon, former boyfriend and co-member of the truly phenomenal duo/group Moloko. Roisin for years had provided exceptional vocals for songs like "Fun For Me", "Sing It Back", "The Flipside", "Forever More", et al, with otherworldly beats from Brydon. Now she does it alone, this time with personal fave and phenom phenomenon, Herbert Matthews doing the producing--the man who brought us "100 Lbs", "Around the House", "Bodily Functions", "Goodbye Swingtime", and Dani Siciliano's "Likes". Herbert has collaborated with Moloko in the past, so it was only natural that he produce Murphy's solo debut, "Ruby Blue". This is a release to be herald as "CD of the Year!," for when Murphy and Matthews come together they make as much musical magic as Brydon and Murphy did as Moloko. Roisin's vocals have matured tremendously since the days of "Do You Like My Tight Sweater" and her whimisical almost cartoonish lyrics and vocal abilities have all but gone away, leaving a more refined and serious overtone that compliments her well--reminiscent of her vocals on "Statues". She now croons with a twisted-hypnotic beauty that would sink ships--Hell! I almost wrecked my truck listening to "If We're In Love." Roisin also migrates into slightly experiemental territory on songs like "Night of the Dancing Flame" and "Ramalamabangbang", which are hard to listen to at first, but after a few plays on a good sound-system, they both sound excellent!
Herbert has produced some good music that ranges from styles of jazz to rock to r&b to funk to folk to dance and everything else in between. His productions can almost be likened to that of Purple Rocker Prince circa 1980s, which by no means is a bad thing--just listen to the bassline in "Dear Diary" and the melodies of "Through Time"!
Moloko-fans may be slightly disappointed at this more "sedated" Roisin Murphy, but trust me in time with repeat listenings you'll appreciate it. "Ruby Blue" should not be overlooked by any means. A true accomplishment from a woman who's doing it on her own. Highly recommended!!!
Roisin--I'm "Sow Into You", Baby! ("sniggle"--I could not resist!)