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Some Place Simple

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iTunes Review

In the 1990s, vocalist Martina Topley Bird appeared on a string of striking albums — including the ground-breaking Maxinquaye — by the British recording artist known as Tricky. In 2003, she released her first solo effort, Quixotic, which received high critical praise, and followed that up with 2008’s The Blue God, which was produced by Dangermouse. Her third album, Some Place Simple, is a stripped-down affair and it’s excellent. Working with Fergus Gerrand, she presents a set of 15 songs, several of which are new versions of material from her previous albums. On the opener, “Baby Blue,” Topley Bird is sparely accompanied by ukulele, celesta, and tambourine, keeping the focus on the appealing melody. (Even when she tosses something off, like “Da Da Da,” a brief track with wordless vocalizing, her gift for melody and structure is clear.) Topley Bird deftly rides an intriguing slice of jazzy prog on “Orchids,” while haunted-house keyboards mark “Snowman,” which features a variety of vocal colors. The album closes with a pair of short pieces: the tender and funny “Kiss Kiss Kiss,” and an instrumental variation called “Harpsichord Kiss.”

Customer Reviews

Wow, beautiful. Magic.

This one is pure magic. Minimalistic but yet beautiful outtake on Martina's own gems.
Got me smiling this one.

There are tiny…

… moments that show a little bit of promise. But for the most part, lyrically immature, musically uninteresting. I want to like it, but there isn't enough there to like.

Sometimes less is more

LOVE IT! I had no idea she had a new album out and was very dissapointed when I found out the album were just remakes of older songs. Then I listened to it. They are less produced than the other songs and toned down a lot. They bring out her phenomenal voice and they are quite different than the "original" songs. 4 1/2 stars.


Born: England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Because of a printing error on Maxinquaye, Martina Topley-Bird has often been referred to as "Martine," an error the unpredictable, low-profile, and confusion-loving singer/songwriter didn't bother correcting. The woman Vibe referred to as "the black Dietrich of Soul" grew up in London and went to schools that were mostly white and middle class. Being the odd one out suited Martina just fine; in fact, it was an environment she thrived in. A chance meeting with Tricky led to a relationship, both romantic...
Full Bio
Some Place Simple, Martina Topley-Bird
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Customer Ratings