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Mind How You Go

Skye

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Album Review

The voice and focal point for Morcheeba would seem to be a natural solo artist once the band dissolved after its 2003 greatest-hits release Parts of the Process. But since Skye Edwards had written little of Morcheeba's material, the resulting album under her own name, now shortened to just Skye, took three years. Although little has changed in her approach on this debut, there are subtle differences between this music and the work with her previous band. According to the liner notes (oddly there are no song or musician credits), producer Patrick Leonard helped write much of this material and it seems that his keyboards and drum loops are the only instruments. That provides a deceptively chilly base over which Skye lays her sumptuous, velvety vocals. It's an interesting effect when it works, but it gives a somewhat hesitant feel to the finished product, as if these are demos meant to be expanded with a full band later. Likewise, the songs are more akin to set pieces with wandering structures and a lazy, jazzy feel. And they are all ballads. That gives Skye room to lay her voice atop the often delicate, synth heavy production, but it also creates a rather one-dimensional mood. Morcheeba's trip-hop/pop was involving because the writers composed songs that had clearly delineable melodies. Those are harder to find here, although multiple spins help the process. Some songs such as "Powerful" — notably one of two non-Leonard productions — find their groove with recognizable, even hummable choruses as Skye sings against swelling strings that ebb and flow. Other more experimental tracks such as "What's Wrong with Me?" succeed due to the brittle electronics played against Skye's sultry singing. She turns in a beautifully nuanced performance throughout, folding her luxurious voice between the song's layers and beckoning the listener back for a second taste, even with material that doesn't register on the initial listen. That makes this a natural for established Morcheeba fans, but possibly less so for someone first encountering Skye's talents and not willing to put in time to warm up to this winning yet refreshingly non-commercial release.

Biography

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s

As the resident vocalist of trip-hop group Morcheeba, Skye Edwards' instantly recognizable, smooth delivery was crucial to the band's success. But after its fourth album, the group decided to take a sabbatical, leaving Edwards with plenty of time to pursue a solo project. Retreating to Los Angeles, she began production and songwriting for a solo album and sketched out several tracks with the help of friends. With almost a full album in hand, she had a chance encounter with legendary producer Daniel...
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Mind How You Go, Skye
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