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Charango

Morcheeba

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Album Review

Fragments of Freedom was released in 2000 and not received very well. If critics and fans had been able to gaze into a crystal ball and see a couple of years into the future, they would have understood. Now with the benefit of hindsight, consider Fragments the prototypically disjointed transitional record that saw Morcheeba shifting focus from trip-hop to a more well-rounded mix, as Charango completes the journey that may have been bumpy, but with a sweet destination. Once again, guests are brought in to augment the band's sound; Lambchop's Kurt Wagner returns to help the electronica act with meditative lead vocals that fit into the film noir soundscape that is "What New York Couples Fight About," and Pacewon adds his rhymes to two tunes — the title track, which harks back to the trip-hopping salad days of the group and sees the rapper taking the lead, and "Get Along," where he makes a more subtle contribution on a dreamy cut that sounds like something from the '70s if they had more modern equipment back then. However, the best is "Women Lose Weight," which sees Slick Rick sound completely old-school with Morcheeba's pop-soul groove letting his typically clever rhymes and dark comedy dominate the song. Though the appearances of outside musicians is a positive move overall, the remainder of the disc as done by the three members of the group stands up on its own; Skye Edwards' vocals are sultry as she makes all diva-like on lead track "Slow Down," the string-drenched melancholic "Otherwise," and the lazy tropical "Sao Paulo," and overall her performance makes Charango the band's best record in some time, and for anyone not a purist, it's possibly Morcheeba's best ever. [The album's international version included a bonus disc of live material.] ~ Brian O'Neill, Rovi

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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Charango, Morcheeba
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