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Trip Hop - Released September 20, 1996 | EastWest U.K.

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Electro - Released October 14, 2013 | [PIAS]

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Trip Hop - Released September 20, 1996 | EastWest U.K.

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Slower, smoother, and more soulful than Portishead and less pop-oriented than the Sneaker Pimps, Morcheeba have an alluringly dark sound that nevertheless remains accessible. As their debut, Who Can You Trust?, illustrates, the trio has a keen sense of how to make a pop melody seem dangerous and foreign by having it crawl out of the murk of creeping beats and ominous samples. Although the group lacks the visionary spark of Tricky and Portishead, and their songs aren't as bracing as the Sneaker Pimps, Morcheeba have a distinctive, idiosyncratic sound that makes Who Can You Trust? entrancing. Although the latter half of the album tends to sound a little samey, without many beats or hooks to distinguish each song, the album remains a hauntingly atmospheric -- and quite terrific -- debut. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Trip Hop - Released June 27, 2011 | Play It Again Sam

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Pop - Released July 1, 2002 | EastWest U.K.

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Pop - Released June 30, 2003 | Atlantic Records UK

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Trip Hop - Released February 3, 2008 | Play It Again Sam

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Pop - Released July 10, 2000 | EastWest U.K.

Even though Morcheeba were one of the later, straggling entries in the trip-hop phenomenon, their previous albums succeed because of the interplay between Skye Edwards' sweetly sensual, airy voice and the band's correspondingly mellow grooves. Unfortunately, their third album, Fragments of Freedom, scraps most of their signature sound for half-baked experiments in R&B, acid jazz, and hip-hop. Though it's certainly understandable that the group would want to move away from the dead-and-buried trip-hop sound that defined them originally, it seems that Morcheeba are just using bands like Brand New Heavies and M People as sonic templates instead of Tricky and Portishead. The bland, overly slick production softens any impact that soulless soul songs such as "Rome Wasn't Built in a Day" and "Love Is Rare" might have had, and while Edwards may be blessed with a soulful voice, she's unconvincing belting out pseudo-sultry lyrics like "Is that a rocket in your pocket?" The group's misguided forays into hip-hop are even worse; Mr. Complex's guest rap on "Love Sweet Love" sounds like it was surgically grafted from another track entirely, and while Bahamadia's appearance on "Good Girl Down"'s celebration of sisterhood makes more sense, it still sounds out of place with Edwards' essentially refined, delicate style. Not every song on Fragments of Freedom is ill conceived, however; the opening track, "World Looking In," ranks among their finest, and the steel drum instrumental "A Well Deserved Break" is pretty and refreshing. Despite its annoying, overpowering synth bass, "Shallow End" boasts a lilting, seductive melody that showcases Edwards' voice instead of fighting against it, and the title track is a pleasant enough piece of trip-hop pastiche. But for the most part, Fragments of Freedom's contrived attempts to bring the funk to Morcheeba's sound are as fake and painful as a forced smile. ~ Heather Phares
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Pop - Released May 31, 2019 | Fly Agaric Records

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Pop - Released July 1, 2002 | EastWest U.K.

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Dance - Released May 17, 2019 | Fly Agaric Records

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Trip Hop - Released June 7, 2010 | Play It Again Sam

A more literal return to form, Blood Like Lemonade builds on the familiar downtempo grooves that filled Morcheeba's 2008 effort Dive Deep, but this time with original vocalist Skye Edwards back in the fray. Right from the opening dusty, minor-keyboard chord, the album is instantly identifiable for fans as stony, late-night grooves combine with melodies that are both pop-minded and soul-spirited. All the organic elements that sit on top of the slow, rolling drum machines are back, as is the sinister underbelly of their early material, although here it's amped up a touch. The title track references “drinking blood like lemonade,” while “Recipe for Disaster” begins “Wanna know why there's a dead guy in my dining room” before unveiling a story that's somewhere between the Jesse James legend and Natural Born Killers. The sweet tricks are Edwards using her velvet voice to make it all sound delicious, along with her ability to be equally effective on the breezy, positive numbers like “I Am the Spring.” Add “Crimson,” which would be the quintessential Morcheeba song if “Rome Wasn't Built in a Day” didn't exist, and Blood Like Lemonade exceeds expectations, coming in a close second behind fan favorite Big Calm. ~ David Jeffries
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Dance - Released April 19, 2019 | Fly Agaric Records

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Pop - Released July 1, 2002 | EastWest U.K.

Fragments of Freedom was released in 2000 and not received very well. If critics and fans would have been able to gaze into a crystal ball a couple of years in the future, they would have understood. 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 Pace Won 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. ~ Brian O'Neill
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Pop - Released December 5, 2005 | Rhino

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Pop - Released September 1, 2016 | Echo

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Pop - Released June 24, 2003 | WM UK

Parts of the Process reflects on five albums and seven years for the London trip-hop act Morcheeba. This stunning 18-track set isn't chronologically arranged, but all the hits and staples are here. Morcheeba loyalists may be slightly disappointed by the exclusion of "Who Can You Trust?" but overall, Parts of the Process captures the beauty of Morcheeba. Big Calm seems to be the major album represented with "The Sea," "Over and Over," "Let Me See," and the song for which this album is named, "Parts of the Process." Other amazing tracks from the band's first release, Who Can You Trust? -- "Tape Loop" and the brooding chill of "Trigger Hippie" -- make this album more complete. But other select cuts are equal in style and still appeal. Cuts from the less popular Charango album add a bit of flair to Morcheeba's sophisticated catalog, especially "What New York Couples Fight About." Even the stormy narrative "Rome Wasn't Built in a Day," from Fragments of Freedom, is chalked in. Those who found Morcheeba's 2001 Back to Mine collection crucial to the band's body of work shouldn't distress; that album doesn't really fit with the direction of this collection. Instead, the trio treats listeners to two brand-new tracks. Big Daddy Kane joins Morcheeba for the funkadelic, hip-hop groove "What's Your Name," while "Can't Stand It" is the band's attempt at chamber pop. While Morcheeba isn't one of the more exclusive acts of British electronic music, they've assessed their power as artists. Parts of the Process is well-suited for those unfamiliar with the band, while still tailored for those faithful followers, too. ~ MacKenzie Wilson
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Pop - Released September 1, 2016 | Echo

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Pop - Released September 20, 1996 | London Records

The limited-edition Who Can You Trust?/Beats & B-Sides appends an eight-cut bonus disc to Morcheeba's engagingly atmospheric 1996 debut; while the added material is far from revelatory, fans of the group will want the extras anyway, primarily for the intriguing remixes of songs including "Killer Hippie," "Tape Loop," and "Shoulder Holster." ~ Jason Ankeny
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Electro - Released October 14, 2013 | [PIAS]

Now on their second album since original vocalist Skye Edwards rejoined the band, trip-hop veterans Morcheeba stretch their wings on Head Up High, an album that follows its guest stars into outside genres and generally messes about with the group's patented sound. It's obviously an inspirational move, as "Face of Danger" with rapper Chali 2na is a instantly gripping 2013 neo-disco near-sequel to Grace Jones' declarative hit "Demolition Man," while the pride-injected "To Be" with U.K. hip-hop duo Rizzle Kicks gets that dirt off the shoulder in the coolest of styles. "Finally Found You" with White Denim's James Petralli is a solid universal love song that would make the country charts if sung by Parton and Rogers or the R&B charts if sung by Austin and Ingram. The veteran trio is willing to explore on its own too, offering new sound with "Hypnotized," a sultry, sexy creeper readily available whenever Tarantino needs a cool soundtrack for seduction, while "Do You Good" is the kind of restrained electro cool that Goldfrapp used to own exclusively. "Make Believer" offers dub at a wicked dancehall pace, but power ballads aren't a natural fit for the group, as "Call It Love" cries at the sky looking for answers while lurching its way toward the fade-out. Some other experiments only warrant a B or B+ and the whole jumble might feel odd to a newcomer, but since it is mostly returning fans at this late point in the discography, Head Up High earns its title with only one or two flicks of the skip button. ~ David Jeffries