on January 4, 2004
I was perusing my enormous cd collection over the holiday weekend and came across Morcheeba's "Fragments of Freedom" cd. I haven't listened to it in a couple of years. "Fragments of Freedom" is the only Morcheeba cd that I own so I can't compare it to the group's other albums. I honestly didn't think that "Fragments of Freedom" is as bad as a lot of people say that it is. I'm not a big fan of funk music but surprisingly enough I found myself enjoying the group's more funk-laden tracks like "Love is Rare" and "Let It Go". "Fragments of Freedom" is by far not perfect because the way that the songs flow together which is a bit on the choppy side. I mean the first two tracks are gorgeous your traditional icy trip hop songs and then the next two are '70s funk-laden tracks. The fifth track is a dancehall/reggae-influenced track. I thought the various sounds made the album. Overall the sound on the album was uneven. Nevertheless I did like all of the songs despite the fact that they made the album sound very uneven.
on September 26, 2002
Hmmm...maybe nobody else thought of this, but don't you think that maybe Morcheeba is PURPOSELY TRYING to be corny? I mean, you can't write a song like "Rome Wasn't Built in a Day" and not smirk to yourself. No, I have never heard their music before, but I really liked "Rome..." on an internet radio station and I found the album (plus a bonus disc) at a used CD store. So, I figured, why not? Well, songs like "World Looking In" and "A Well Deserved Break" are refreshing as well as the hip hop tracks "Love Sweet Love" and "In the Hands of the Gods". A lot of the material also sounds like something Macy Gray would sing. I also believe that the truly awesome "Shallow End" is a tune Jamiroquai would kill to get their hands on. True, I probably picked a CD that sounds nothing like their other work, but, hey, at least I'm interested in hearing more of their stuff. "Charango", here I come.
(The bonus disc almost completely makes up for any low points "Fragments..." might have. The first track is an excellent remix of "In the Hands of the Gods", the next being the Frogmarched mix of the title track, but they've saved the best for last: Morcheeba's own twist on the oldies fav "Crystal Blue Persuasion"! If you're able to find "Fragments..." with this bonus disc, get it!!"
on January 12, 2002
I can't stand reading all these negative reviews of this album! First of all, I just got into Morcheeba within the last couple months. I have no idea why it took me so long, but I am SO glad I finally did. I started with Big Calm because everyone said that was the best. I loved it instantly. Every song was catchy. BUT - everyone had said it was an ultra-chillout album, in sort've a trip-hop vein. That's ridiculous. It's a catchy, mostly upbeat album. Which is great - I was just mislead by reviews. So, loving Big Calm, I thought I'd check out Fragments of Freedom, even though it got such horrible reviews. My expectations were low, but upon first listen, I fell absolutely in love with it. I don't know what is wrong with you guys! It's one of the catchiest and most fun albums I've ever heard. EVERY song on it is great (except for the 1 1/2 minute-long Biz Markie song). Many people have said that Fragments is such a huge departure for Morcheeba. Let me just say that they're nuts. After Fragments I bought Who Can You Trust?, and the change in styles was a hundred times more drastic between that (their first) and Big Calm (their second). Take the more upbeat songs from Big Calm, and that's what Fragments is like. They did NOT sell out. They did what they do best. Each Morcheeba album gets better and better. I cannot wait til the next one!
on November 2, 2001
To everyone who's been giving this cd a bad review, all I have to say is LIGHTEN UP!! and quit being so stuffy. Sure, it's not "who can you trust" or "big calm", but the band was ready to experiment and try something different. My guess is that they were tired of doing another slow, moody trip hop album again. Seriously, would you guys REALLY have wanted "Big Calm 2"? For proof that the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" attitude doesn't work, take a look at the Cranberries. Anyway, back to this abum. Sure, the lyrics are cliched and silly.. but that's INTENTIONAL!!! The band was having a GOOD TIME when they recorded this album, and you can tell! As for them selling out.. the music on this album may be catchy but it's not really commercial. The only song I could ever picture being a North American radio hit would be "Be Yourself". My advice is to stop being so ignorant and don't judge this album before you listen to it. Forget about Morcheeba's old records for a minute and listen to this. Music doesn't always have to be serious, dull and artsy in order to be good. Just enjoy it for what it is.. while "Who Can You Trust" and "Big Calm" were the kind of albums that were meant for the listener to sit down with headphones to listen to, "Fragments" is an all-out, good time, party album. People are always complaining about other bands doing the same thing over and over, yet when Morcheeba makes a departure from their normal stuff, they get shot down. Just enjoy the music!!!!
on October 12, 2001
Man, i have just got into Morcheeba in the last year, and i was very pleased with 'Big Calm' and 'Who can you trust?' was decent but when i heard that they've released a new cut i was very pleased.
I couldn;t believe what i was listening to when i put this on. Man it is poor. I just about managed to extract three decent tunes from this album, but they only sound decent when played against other tunes on 'fragments of freedom'.
AVOID at all costs, i cannot stress this point more. You are only allowed to not listen to my warning (and about 60 other reviewer's), if this is the first Morcheeba album you've heard or if you like more sophisticated pop. Yes, i hate to admit it but Morcheeba are now a pop band, like ALL SAINTS or SUGABABES.
There is this trend that is really annoying me. Good bands bringing out poor albums, because they want to make more money.
They therefore aim at the pop market and the charts, and so make unimaginative, poor music. This has happened to HOOVERPHONIC'S latest release. Lamb's latest 'What sound' (only available in england for the moment), hasn't turned to pop album, its just poor as is Tricky's 'Pre-millenium Tension'.
I just hope the same won't happen to Portishead (if they ever get around to maing a new album).
on September 3, 2001
With the great eruption of Morcheeba into the realms of fame has unfortunately brought with it a desire to become a popular chart band. Becoming a popular chart band (singles band) means producing music that is palitable to the easy listener who will get a short but quick hit from a top ten single then probably forget about the song and move on to the next number one. If this is the aim of Morcheeba then they have done well for themselves because most of the songs on Fragments of Freedom are hits in themselves (Rome Wasn't Built In A Day), lovely easy listening, joyful, bouncy and easy to sing along to. I must admit that their songs will cheer you up however that is as far as it goes.
On personal opinion I have given them 2 stars because this isn't the sort of music I am looking for however if I were rating the album on merit such as breadth, quality of the recording etc then this album does deserve 4 stars. The quality of the recording is excellent and will make any cheap stereo sound good, it is crisp and clear. Skye's voice is brilliant for the Godfrey brothers' music (five stars there)! They also use a large variety of instruments, which makes each song have a different sound and thus makes the album a little bit more interesting. Another point I would like to draw attention to is that Morcheeba manage to make each song progress and change through out making it a slightly captivating album.
So there you have it, with Big Calm as Morcheeba's best album (a lot more deeper and meaningful) Fragments of Freedom has had a lot to live up to. Buy Fragments of Freedom if you want an easy listening album, it is well made and straight to the point.
on March 26, 2001
I honestly did not like most of the music on this album. I found myself wincing in a kind of bemused horror at all but four tracks on the CD, and only ended up truly enjoying World Looking In and Fragments of Freedom. I wonder if my appreciation of the latter, last track was influenced by the relief I felt after suffering through the disco/pop fluff that makes up the bulk of this album.
That being said,
Morcheeba (like all bands) has the right or, if you will, obligation, of experimenting with their style, their form or manner of expression, independant of the opinions of their fans. But I find it unfortunate that they have chosen to make the semi-serious step of actually releasing an experiment into mainstream pop music, not because I dislike the style (I do), but because they seem to have given in to the fault that plagues every other here-today-gone-tomorrow pop band, of producing absolutely forgettable tunes that talk without saying anything.
I respect Morcheeba's decision to turn towards pop in search of another avenue of creation (if that's what this is...I'll get to that later), and I sincerely wish that if they continue in this direction they will find a way to reconcile what I consider to be a very real need to express *something* with an artistic creation and the overwhelmingly directionless, expressionless nature of pop music. In the meantime, I'll just put Big Calm and Who Can You Trust? on repeat and dream of better days.
The conspiracy theorist in me would now like to point out the following: The first track and the title track on this album, the ones most likely to be listened to by a consumer deciding whether or not to buy a particular album, are in Morcheeba's accustomed style that so many of us love. And (most of) the rest is easily produced, trite fluff. Filler, if you will. Maybe that filler attracts pop enthusiasts (they do all seem to be enthused individuals, don't they?), maybe not.
The conspiracy theorist in me wonders if this album was created with the base intention of garnering income.
on November 30, 2000
Morcheeba had a chance to kill this failure in the crib --recognize it as the boner it is and decide it's not worthy of theirname. Too late now. After recommending Big Calm to countless friendsand buying it for a number of them, I regularly checked Amazon to seewhen group's follow-up would release. Granted, everyone who's heardCalm has had eagerly anticipated Morcheeba's next; we know whatthey're cabable of -- but we never expected THIS. Asking myself,"why?" I figured that it's not uncommon for a talented groupto "go experimental" and fail. Maybe their fans don'tapprove, maybe there's little popular appeal in the group's newdirection, even if you can hear that they're trying to be inventive.Unfortuately I can't be that gracious here. Ditto other reviews'desciptions of "cheesy" riffs and "daft" lyrics.After the opening cut, "World Looking In," you can forgetabout hearing any lyrical melodies or meaningful lyrics. As youlisten to the trite, chant-like verses, you too will start to hit the"next track" button on your cd player, thinking to yourself,"there's got to be some better music here!?" When the cd isexhausted and you discover that there isn't, you'll wonder how a groupwith the undisputable talent to make "Big Calm" is not onlycapable of making "Fragments" but why none of the groupmembers stopped or redirected the project before it was wrapped andthe cd released. Now it's too late and the name Morcheeba is foreverattached to it. Let's hope this is just a creative hiccup, the likesof which all talented, intelligent people are capable. In themeantime, my "Fragments" cd will make a nice coaster.
on October 30, 2000
10 minutes into this album, I began to wonder in a panic: what happened?? Hoping track after track that it would get better, I subjected myself to an eternity of limp melodies, flinching at the pure cheesiness of the whole album that does not deserve to have the name "morcheeba" printed on it. But could it be? After flirting innovatively at the edges of retro in their previous releases, could they really have fallen into the pit of vacuous lyrics and tried and predictable arrangements--even more vacuous and predictable than the original wave of bad r&b and the worst moments in disco? Retro is fine, but let's face it: Morcheeba may extemporaize and reinvent old forms, but why even try to emulate so closely something that had been done exponentially better a long time ago? Don't let this web page beckon you with a less-than-mediocre new release of morcheeba--move your mouse quickly away from the "buy this item" button. (And to think, I waited months for this embarrassment to be released!)
on September 6, 2000
Firstly I have to say I am a big Morcheeba fan.I loved the first two albums and was really looking forward to this one after the amazing 'Big Calm'.And I have to say what a terrible dissappointment this c.d. 'Fragments of Freedom' is. The c.d. starts off nicely with an excellent ,smooth,opener-'World Looking In',which is as good as any of their other songs.Then it starts to go downhill with the 2nd song and the first single 'Rome Wasn't Built In A Day'(but this c.d. was probably written in one!).The lyrics on this track are the daftest I've heard in a long while-e.g.'One Fine day, we'll fly away,don't you know Rome wasn't built in a day,Hey,Hey,Hey' -ingenious (It's a real case of 'how do we finish this silly chorus'?)The next 2 tracks are o.k.Trade mark slow paced grooves with a nice mixture of acoustic,electric guitars and on track 4 a nice brass section.Then we have track 5 a dreadful steel drum instrumental which starts off with a dialogue about Florida being hot and violent place. Track 6 takes a sample from Grandmaster Flash-'The Message'-it's not a bad song.Then we have some dreadful songs featuring some weak rap artists-these songs are neither funky or catchy.'Shallow End ' is my 2nd favourite song on the c.d. and it has an excellent disco riff,so currently in vogue.The remaining songs sound like b-side rejects,with nothing particularly good about them. I hope this c.d. is just a temporary abberation for Morcheeba and hopefully the next c.d. will be a big improvement.One final thing is I suppose groups should be admired for trying something new and this c.d. certainly sounds like a group experimenting with a newish sound-but in my opinion they just don't carry it off very well.