CD: Roisin Murphy, Ruby Blue


Best known for Sing It Back, her pop hit with Moloko in 1999, Roisin Murphy has taken a turn left for her adventurous solo debut, a collaboration with Matthew Herbert. The maverick electronic artist Herbert is reknowned for eschewing convention in the studio, preferring instead to conjure percussion and tunes from popping crisp packets or whirring egg whisks.

Murphy's vocals, due to his unusual technique, have never sounded so sonically enticing and varied. She is at times sultry, rude, powerful and tender across white noise, waltz time signatures and jazz sass. The brassy Night of the Dancing Flame recalls peak period Stevie Wonder, and the odd pop funk of Sow Into You could well be a hit.

Though the results are often as crackers as pop-soul innovators like Outkast and Prince, Murphy and Herbert often let their noodling eclipse the songs, leaving few you'll actually be able to sing back to anyone.


John Burgess

The GuardianTramp

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