Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Alternative Rock, World Music, Jazz, Pop
Moloko: Catalogue (Echo)
Young Music Reviewer | Boston, MA | 08/16/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Headline: You Look Real Sexy in That Tight Sweater
It's a crying shame that a band like Moloko was enjoyed and celebrated more in the UK than here in America. Especially, around the time that Electronica was kicking off. While most of you listened more to Fatboy Slim, Chemical Brothers and other familiar characters, Moloko was fighting for attention without ahaving to use a commercial and so far, the only result is that their only American album, Do You Like My Tight Sweater?, was given more attention, while the rest of the albums (I'm still anticipating Things to Make and Do and my main focus album Statues to be released in America, not as an import; I just discovered their album I Am Not a Doctor) was released in the UK. It was around the time the eccentrically fabricated Tight Sweater got the notice it deserved that I heard Moloko on a Batman and Robin CD. (Not only do I still love the single, but the song should not have been truncated to under 4 minutes on this Catalogue album.) The next time I heard about Moloko was from buying The Mystery Men soundtrack (still my favorite soundtrack to date) and ever since then, the go-go-like music and energy caught my ear so much, I wanted to hear more. Of course, not only would I forget to buy what sounds like a masterpiece, Do You Like My Tight Sweater, but around the time I anticipated their release of Statues, it never made it to the states from what I remembered. Now, they release a Greatest Hits album wisely named Catalogue, with a humorous cover. With this album, I beg you to buy this album to discover Moloko's best musical approaches.
Probably before Royksopp before them, Moloko had Roisin Murphy, the lead vox (the Skye to Moloko's Morcheeba, rather), to either bring lyrics and turn the song intro an imaginative adventure, or have her make you want to fall in love with her. With Catalogue, the songs prove that it doesn't fail every time. Either way, their songs never had too much use in being bombastic or musically belligerent. Though some of these songs are unfairly cut and terribly mixed (their new or familiar version of "Indigo"). Now for the other singles, I never got to really hear. One is called "The Time is Now" when Roisin coos "You are the first thing/You are the last thing on my mind", only to create a romantic atmosphere with the music, and make for one of the musical pheromones that somehow work every moment you give it. After that comes "Sing It Back", which brings back the essence of soul, disco, and recovered genre of funk only to bring back the old use of the disco ball (which is later accomplished during their Statues hit "Familiar Feeling", also truncated, but without my notice).
The song that really grabbed my attention was the sexy "Pure Pleasure Seeker", kicked off by an odd choice of a beat, but a sign that Roisin's character just may be one of the women from Venus that Mars couldn't quite handle. In this song, she searches for "instant gratification" "all the way from Venus, invaded by Mars". Just the song that trumps the PCD by not only being obnoxious about the protagonist's freakiness, but proves that rarely can a song as weird, too, can cause this to be a hit in whatever clubs this song invaded. A little odd that the song is turned down by the emotionally mixed, along with the chillout enjoyment "Cannot Contain This". Following afterwards is the heartbroken, as well as the creatively-titled "Bankrupt Emotionally" and the nocturnal "Day For Night", which by the way isn't the best single on the album. Now, those who heard Mystery Men or Things to Make and Do will either love this makeover, or think that this is the worst interpretation of their single. Personally, if I first heard the song here like this, I would have thought it was their lackluster attempt yet.
"The Flipside" is their single where infatuation turns from an attempt a beginning with a Fugees sound to IDM enjoyment, where more added upon the wagon, to make this the album's sleeper track. The song I would have usually skipped, the oddly titled "Where is the What If the What Is in Why?" asks questions, in which half of their questions couldn't quite be answered by What the Bleep Do We Know!? Anyone who has ever questioned things will find some of the famous questions spread all over the table. Then the album closes with two other sleepers: the party plea-for-a-partner "Forever More" and the much mellow melancholy, and minimal use of electronics (far from overdramatic, really.) "Statues" to end this album on a wonderful note. After listening to music that is under an hour (shy of 2 minutes), you just wish you had a little more, don't you?
It's a good thing this album wasn't an import, or else all I would ever hear of Moloko is just 3 singles. I've finally been exposed more to the world of Moloko, not just to the heart and dialogue of Ms. Roisin Murphy and the soundtrack of Mark Brydon. A good start in trying to catch up on the rest of their catalogue. The music is weird, eccentric, and all heartfelt enough for them to slip into electronica and possibly be the world's best kept secret (in America, anyway) in chillout, electronica and possibly in the reincarnation of funk. Face it. Frankly, fun has never really sounded this endearing.