MORCHEEBA – Head Up High
aaamusic | On 15, Oct 2013
The mythic British band Morcheeba, one of the leaders of the experimental trip-hop music genre, has released an eighth album after three years of expectation. Head Up High stands on the same vibe as their last album Blood Like Limonade, which had marked the big return of the group’s singer Skye Edwards, absent since 2003.
The album was written by all three members – Skye and the Godfrey brothers. Head Up High shows new arrangements, for instance more post-dubstep irregular bass lines, all the while retaining their trademark sound, notably thanks to Skye‘s characteristic melodious voice.
The album opens on the lead single Gimme Your Love, an entertaining synth-driven piece with a hooky chorus and an enjoyable synthetic guitar solo, ideal to introduce this new evolved album.
The thrilling second song – starring hip hop legend Chali 2na – Face Of Danger, has a ”lonely cow-boy” kind of theme. The chorus’s lyrics, huskily sang by Skye, are quite enjoyable: ”Loving in the face of danger”, ”Embrace, passion with a stranger”, ending on a defiant ”I’m gonna spill your blood”. The eleventh song, Do You Good, is equally entertaining.
The third song, Call It Love, begins on a resentful ”Call it love; call it whatev’ you want if it suits you”.Here the lead singer, White Denim‘s James Petralli, sings about the rancour of an abandoned lover. His rich and recognizable voice is as acute as ever. The song offers some nice bass lines recalling a slight Tron’s Daft Punk mood.
Sometimes you are taken on a dreamy landscape – that is no wonder with Skye‘s ethereal vocals – with tracks such as the last one, Finally Found You, or track number four, Under The Ice. On the latter you can picture yourself in a dark, blurry forest; a feeling reinforced by lyrics like ”You are my only light, now you’ve gone; I wander, and I can’t travel on”. This one, along with the tenth track To The Grave, offer nice irregular percussions’ backgrounds.
Make Believer, song number six, presents a nice alteration to the album. Indeed it is more cheerful, more reggae-influenced, and offers a chilling electric guitar solo. Other songs with guest singers like the French-Chilean rapper Ana Tijoux, or the cheeky UK Rizzle Kicks, further show the open-mindedness of the band and the adaptability of trip-hop music.
Head Up High is to be released on October 14th. And last but not least, Morcheeba will be touring Europe this autumn, with an ending gig back home in London on November 19th.