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Morcheeba - Parts Of The Process

  by Jon Rogers

published: 11 / 7 / 2003

Morcheeba - Parts Of The Process
Label: East West
Format: CD


Lushly entertaining, but decidely conformist and undemanding Best Of compilation from trip-hop forerunners, Morcheeba

Morcheeba are, ultimately, in amongst the runners and riders of pop end of trip-hop’s pack. They’ll give the frontrunners cause for concern every so often, but are unlikely to ever gain a top placing for the big awards. And this compilation of their albums (plus a couple of new tracks) doesn’t really do much to dispel that notion. They’re not to be dismissed out of hand but musically aren’t going to set hearts fluttering. Skye Edwards’ lush vocals are flirtatious, sassy and sensual but fall short of being soppy. It’s a lush serenade backed by shuffling beats and sparkling production. After four studio albums it seems that Morcheeba have got the formula down by rote and could knock this stuff out on request. It might be a back-handed compliment but songs like ‘World Looking In’ and ‘Trigger Hippie’ probably ooze out of the trio on a regular basis. That’s possibly one drawback. It just appears to be all too easy for them. They know what they do well and play on that for all it’s worth. And who can blame them for that, it’s just that they don’t seem to be pushing themselves, nor experimenting. They have a clear understanding of what works for them and they stick to it. When they did start to add extra layers with last year’s 'Charango' it all fell face down in the mud – especially on 'Women Lose Weight'. Even the presence of Lampchop’s Kurt Wagner on ‘What New York Couples Fight About’ couldn’t do much to save it. Ultimately though Morcheeba are safe and domesticated. They are perhaps the soundtrack to a cooing couple on their second or third date in a cosy bistro. Neither wants to put a foot wrong and potentially blow the date, so both act cautiously not wanting to reveal any potentially embarrassing foibles or quirks. Topics of conversation are uncontroversial and it all goes along smoothly with no ruffles. Perhaps, in marketing terms, this is the best demographic for the band’s audience : thirtysomething heterosexual couples who have lived together for a couple of years and are now thinking of getting married and “settling down”. They’ve jettisoned going to the pub in favour of intimate dinner parties with friends where Morecheeba wafts from a tinny midi hi-fi housed in an Ikea shelf unit. They delude themselves that they’re still hip and contemporary by smoking a little pot every now and again, but in reality they’re losing any radicalism they might have had whilst studying at university and are gently slipping into conformity. Worth a listen but could do better.

Track Listing:-
1 The Sea
2 Tape Loop
3 Otherwise
4 Blindfold
5 Be Yourself
6 Part Of The Process
7 Let Me See
8 Undress Me Now
9 What's Your Name?
10 Trigger Hippie
11 Rome Wasn't Built In A Day
12 Over And Over
13 What Ny Couples Fight About
14 World Looking In
15 Moog Island
16 Way Beyond
17 Never An Easy Way
18 Can't Stand It

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Blood Like Lemonade (2010)
Fantastic combination of blues, trip hop and country rock on sixth album from pionnering London act Morcheeba, which sees the return to lead vocals after an absence of seven years of Skye Edwards

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