Sunday, June 22, 2008

Róisín Murphy: The only woman I know who can turn a chip shop into a disco

Last year Róisín Murphy released 'Overpowered', her second solo album. Murphy used to be one half of the Sheffield based electronica duo 'Moloko'.

One of the songs from Murphy's new solo album ('Let Me Know') had this wonderfully entertaining video accompanying it with the lady in question returning from a night out to her local chip shop, only to turn it into an imaginary disco (you probably have to be a little drunk).

The results are hilarious, sexy and pure knock out. The track is an elegant dancefloor stomper, while Murphy looks like a stylish Grace Kelly with a retro pillbox hat.

"Let me know when you're lonely, baby."

2008 is the year when Coldplay ruled the world

Last week I read a news story in one of the UK newspaper websites where Chris Martin did an interview with BBC Radio 4's 'Front Row' programme, and two minutes into the interview, Chris said something like (and I'm paraphrasing here), "I don't feel comfortable with the questions that you are asking," and walked out.

I sat there and thought to myself, 'Chris Martin guy is not playing the game. How refreshing.'

Along comes the new Coldplay album and everyone anticipates that it's gonna be a load of old cobblers (the American translation: "a pile of crap"). However, not one for name-dropping, but the god-like Brian Eno produced the album (on the liner notes he's also credited for 'Sonic landscapes'), and when you read the credit, you can't help but crack a smile.

Track one, 'Life in Technicolour' starts off all ambient keyboards, then on comes some spagetti western acoustic guitar that's heavily treated. Suddenly you begin to think, 'Wait a minute, isn't this a homage to Simple Minds' See The Lights?'

As the songs unfold, you can feel of a church-like or majestic choir or orchestral atmosphere. The liner notes say the album was recorded in a bakery, a nunnery, a magic shop and a church. It's easy to name-drop other bands like U2, Simple Minds and Pink Floyd, however, this album is more Roger Waters than Bono.

Hold up, I'm now listening to track 5, 'Lovers In Japan/Reign of Love', and it vocally does sound like vintage U2, but the electronic soundscapes are very reminscent of Simple Minds doing session work with Brian Eno. The track has a military ballad vibe to it that is rather beautiful.

This is a lush album, and yet a brave one at that for Coldplay. In the past I've never taken Coldplay seriously, although their last album 'X&Y', did stand out, particularly that Kraftwerk track, 'Talk'.

But back to the new album... Track 6, 'Yes' kicks off with some soothing strings, then wanders into Pink Floyd territory via 'Darkside of the Moon' and 'Wish You Were Here'. I swear I could hear David Gilmore playing guitar on this song. Are those violins I hear? Interesting composition.

"I used to rule world" sings Chris Martin on the stunning title track 'Viva La Vida'. This has to be the knockout track on the album. I first heard this track on the Apple advert and it blew my mind.

Ladyhawke walks the walk and tells us 'Paris Is Burning'

They come, they go, and then in walks Ladyhawke with this infectious new song entitled "Paris is Burning."

What starts off with a lyrical melodic riff reminiscent to Gary Numan's "Cars" (dig it... "Here in my car, I see nothing at all.."), Ladyhawke is seen walking down the street at night, looking sexy and punky, something like Kelly out of Girlschool meets the lead singer of Garbage.

The track kicks off in a suspect way. You think to yourself, "Not another Numan rip off," but then the track suddenly steers off into a New Disco direction, and you're thinking, this is a garage rock attitude Studio 54 disco raunch ditty that really is a lot of fun.

I've read a few things about Ladyhawke, but I haven't checked my facts, however, from what I read, I think she's from New Zealand, but is into Ultravox, Gary Numan and all the early eighties electronic new wave music. She brings it up to date and throws in her own trademark sound.

Where the hell did she get that Snoopy t-shirt?

I think we're on to a winner here...