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The Antidote

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Album Review

Caressing the listener's cheek with a pleasant, somewhat psychedelic smile, Morcheeba's The Antidote finds the band reborn as a cross between Burt Bacharach and the Jefferson Airplane. There's still that Morcheeba slyness, but the overall sweetness and comfort-giving attitude in these new songs — plus the band's fresh attitude toward bold, acoustic orchestration — bring them closer to the world of Swing Out Sister. In other words, the formerly trip-hoppy group is going to lose as many fans as they gain with this one. "Electronica" doesn't apply much anymore and departed vocalist Skye Edwards is replaced by former Noonday Underground member Daisey Martey, a powerfully voiced singer who can still emphasize the subtle playfulness in the hip lyrics (best of the lot: "Vacations in Europe, sensational scents/We made the most of your inheritance" from the excellent "Ten Men"). Funk is forgotten but there's still some soul in Morcheeba's sound, along with that adventurous attitude they've always had. Just when the album threatens to become an Austin Powers soundtrack, "Like a Military Coup" dissolves into "Living Hell," Dark Side of the Moon-style. Despite their ominous titles, both tracks are breezy but brainy "feel-good" pop. This balancing of hippie psychedelia and brassy pop would be a disaster in less crafty hands, but the group pulls it off with sparkle and wit. Conjuring the spirits of Bill Withers, Shirley Bassey, and Grace Slick while retaining that Morcheeba cleverness, The Antidote is both a total curveball and pleasant surprise.

Biography

Formed: 1995 in London, England

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

The most groove-oriented act in the mid-'90s female-fronted electronica crowd, Morcheeba rely on the sweet, fluid vocals of Skye Edwards and a laid-back mix of fusion, funk, and blues produced by brothers Paul and Ross Godfrey on beats/scratches and guitar/keyboards, respectively. The trio was formed in 1995 when the Godfreys decided to go out on their own after co-producing six tracks for David Byrne's album Feelings. They submitted several tapes of their instrumental demos to labels around London,...
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The Antidote, Morcheeba
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