label: warner bros.
our score: 2.0 out of 5.0
new "hip" era of genre-bends and "chill-out"
sessions, trip-hop and downbeat groups have seen a popularity
surge amongst the more radio-friendly crowd. Not to say the music
itself has become more radio-friendly (it hasn't, and likely never
will be), but the music is permeating much deeper into the musically
conscious than ever before. Three years ago you'd be hard-pressed
to find anyone to tell you who Morcheeba was (although they were
much more "original" then). Now you can see their videos
on MTV2. Go figure.
this increase in genre-popularity there remains the question as
to if the music itself is really getting all that better. Truthfully,
Morcheeba have never really been all that exciting. Leaders of
a genre tend to come in threes, and the "trip-hop" movement
is no different: Portishead, Massive Attack, and Morcheeba have
long been the leaders in this musical school. The thing is, Morcheeba
haven't ever really deserved their placement among the others
and Charango certainly doesn't help argue their case
Edwards has a blissfully sensual vocal presence; she's always
been the group's saving grace. The problem with Charango,
as with their past work, is Paul and Ross Godfrey don't offer
anything much on the engaging side as far as the music and beats
go. Yes, they're constructed properly but they lack the "oomph"
and soul necessary for the music they're making. Exceptions are
the tropical sunset groove of "Sao Paolo" (where Skye
again shines) and "Public Displays of Affection" (again,
it may just be Skye's vocals saving it here). Still on instances
like the title track, the beats and scratches are unbelievably
predictable. I've heard it before countless times; there's more
to music than just doing it properly. Fortunately vocals from
Pace Won save the track.
of guest appearances, here's a little leson for Morcheeba: it's
one thing to bring Kurt Wagner of Lambchop in on a track, it's
another thing to feature him on an unbelievably annoying piece
("What New York Couples Fight About"). Thankfully Slick
Rick's darkly comedic guest appearance on "Women Lose Weight"
is straight-up Slick Rick, balancing the album out again.
with Charango, Morcheeba have done everything right from
a technical standpoint; what they've really missed is the soul.
It's really just a boring filler until something better comes
along. Hopefully that's sooner than later.
4. Sao Paulo
5. Charango (feat. Pace Won)
6. What New York Couples Fight About (feat.
7. Undress Me Now
8. Way Beyond
9. Women Lose Weight (feat. Slick Rick)
10. Get Along (feat. Pace Won)
11. Public Displays Of Affection
12. The Great London Traffic Warden Massacre