Home Read Classic Album Review: Morcheeba | Charango

Classic Album Review: Morcheeba | Charango

The U.K. trip-hop refugees take another step forward (and back) on their fourth LP.

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This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):

 


London trio Morcheeba have spent the past couple of years — and albums — trying to escape their trip-hop pigeonhole. Trouble is, they haven’t found anything else they do as well.

Case in point: Their disappointing 2000 entry Fragments Of Freedom, whose ill-advised sojourns into acid jazz and R&B didn’t help their cause one bit. They fare slightly better on the 12-song Charango, which flirts with the lazy grooves and fluid melodies of Brazilian Tropicalia, a style that meshes far more easily with both the group’s downbeat grooves and singer Skye Edwards’ dusky torch vocals. Switching gears, the threesome also dip a toe into chamber-folk — and find the water is fine — on a shadowy collaboration with Lampchop’s Kurt Wagner. Too bad they muddy the waters with some cliche hip-hop (featuring Pace Won) and a fairly offensive Slick Rick rap about killing overweight women. Maybe that’s why they can’t outrun their trip-hop tag — every time they take a step forward, they take another one back.