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Róisín Murphy - Overpowered

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Overpowered

Róisín Murphy

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Arty, cerebral, and sometimes downright kooky, Róisín Murphy zigs where other British pop singers zag. She's been one of pop's best-kept secrets since Moloko disbanded, edging her way toward a sound that isn't exactly mainstream but will give her the more widespread acclaim she deserves. For her first solo album, Ruby Blue, she collaborated with producer Matthew Herbert, who streamlined her sound into something creative but not gratingly quirky; even though "Rama Lama" ended up on So You Think You Can Dance, of all places, Ruby Blue wasn't quite a smash success. This time, Murphy teamed with Bugz in the Attic's Seiji, Groove Armada's Andy Cato, All Seeing I's Parrott & Dean, and Jimmy Douglass -- all forward-thinking producers, but with more conventionally pop sounds than Herbert's approach. Of course, by the late 2000s, even the most mainstream singles had at least a few unique production flourishes, so while Overpowered is without a doubt Murphy's most straightforward music yet, she hasn't sacrificed much to make it that way. With its sleek beats, bubbling synths, and nagging chorus, "Overpowered" closely resembles a state-of-the-art pop single, but the way Murphy sings of science and oxytocin over a heart-fluttering harp is unmistakably her. The rest of Overpowered follows suit, giving familiar sounds clever twists that will please longtime Murphy fans and win new ones. The effortless "You Know Me Better," "Let Me Know," and "Checkin' on Me" are chilly yet soulful, touching on disco, house, and '80s pop; "Movie Star" is Murphy's spin on Goldfrapp's glossy glam pop (and the only time she seems in danger of being overpowered by someone else's sound on the album). Even though these songs are immaculately crafted, there's plenty of life -- and Murphy's personality -- in them. "Primitive"'s synths and strings flit around like mosquitoes in a swamp as she wails "I need to let you out of your cage," while "Dear Miami"'s deadpan delivery and spare beats make it possibly the frostiest song ever written about global warming. Overpowered often feels less intimate than Ruby Blue, but that's a minor quibble, especially when "Scarlet Ribbons" shows off Murphy's tender side and the outstandingly crisp, bouncy, and sassy "Footprints" and "Body Language" rank with her best songs. Aptly enough for such a pop-focused album, nearly every song on Overpowered sounds like a potential smash hit. Even if this album is a bid for the big time, it's done with such flair that it just underscores what a confident and unique artist Murphy really is.
© Heather Phares /TiVo

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Overpowered

Róisín Murphy

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1
Overpowered
Seiji
00:05:07

ROISIN MURPHY, Composer, Producer, Vocals, Produced by, MainArtist - Mike Patto, Composer, Keyboards - Paul Dolby, Composer - Tom Elmhirst, Mixer - Seiji, Producer, Drums, Keyboards, Produced by - David Okumu, Guitar, Guitarra

© 2007 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2007 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

2
You Know Me Better
Andy Cato
00:04:17

Andy Cato, Producer, Engineer, Produced by, Instruments - ROISIN MURPHY, Composer, Producer, Vocals, Produced by, MainArtist - Eric Kupper, Mixer - Ill Factor, Production

© 2007 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2007 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

3
Checkin' on Me
Joshua Maidan
00:04:39

Jimmy Douglass, Composer, Producer, Mixer, Guitar - Larry Gold, Arranger, Strings - Ivan Corraliza, Composer, Arranger - ROISIN MURPHY, Composer, Producer, Vocals, MainArtist - Tom Elmhirst, Mixer - Stephen Tirpak, Arranger, Trombone - Matt Cappy, Trumpet - Mark Grey, Mixer - Ill Factor, Producer, Instruments - Carl Cox, Saxophone - Joshua Maidan, Engineer, Recorder - Cheri London, Composer - Stephan Murphy, Bass

© 2007 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2007 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

4
Let Me Know
Alexis Smith
00:05:10

Andy Cato, Composer, Producer, Engineer, Instruments - Alexis Smith, Assistant - ROISIN MURPHY, Composer, Producer, Vocals, MainArtist - Dan Carey, Mixer - Kevin Rudolf, Guitar - Ill Factor, Production - Joshua Maidan, Engineer, Recorded by

© 2007 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2007 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

5
Movie Star
Joshua Maidan
00:03:59

ROISIN MURPHY, Composer, Producer, Vocals, MainArtist - Mike Patto, Composer, Guitar - Paul Dolby, Composer - Tom Elmhirst, Mixer - Seiji, Engineer, Recorder - Parrot, Producer, Programmer, Synthesizer - Ill Factor, Production - Ross Orton, Drums - Joshua Maidan, Engineer, Recorded by - Dean Honer, Producer, Programmer, Synthesizer

© 2007 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2007 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

6
Primitive
Ill Factor
00:04:48

Jimmy Douglass, Producer, Mixer - Larry Gold, Arranger, Strings - Ivan Corraliza, Composer - ROISIN MURPHY, Composer, Producer, Vocals, MainArtist - Tom Elmhirst, Mixer - Mark Grey, Mixer - Ill Factor, Producer, Instruments - Joshua Maidan, Engineer, Recorder

© 2007 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2007 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

7
Footprints
Seiji
00:03:35

Jimmy Douglass, Mixer - ROISIN MURPHY, Composer, Producer, Vocals, MainArtist - Paul Dolby, Composer - Seiji, Producer, Drums, Engineer, Keyboards, Recorder - Mark de Clive-Lowe, Keyboards - David Okumu, Guitar - Marke De Clive-Lowe, Composer

© 2007 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2007 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

8
Dear Miami
Seiji
00:03:40

Jimmy Douglass, Mixer - ROISIN MURPHY, Composer, Producer, Vocals, MainArtist - Mike Patto, Composer, Guitar, Keyboards - Paul Dolby, Composer - Tom Elmhirst, Mixer - Seiji, Producer, Drums, Engineer, Recorder - David Okumu, Guitar

© 2007 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2007 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

9
Cry Baby
Dean Honer
00:05:54

Tom Coyne, Mastering Engineer, Masterer - ROISIN MURPHY, Composer, Producer, Vocals, MainArtist - Tom Elmhirst, Mixer - Seiji, Production - Mike Ward, Composer - Parrot, Programmer, Synthesizer - RICHARD BARRETT, Composer, Producer - Dean Honer, Composer, Producer, Programmer, Synthesizer - Philly Smith, Vocals - Paul Seiji, Additional Production

© 2007 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2007 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

10
Tell Everybody
Cheri London
00:03:51

Jimmy Douglass, Composer, Producer, Mixer - Larry Gold, Arranger, Strings - Ivan Corraliza, Composer - ROISIN MURPHY, Composer, Producer, Vocals, MainArtist - Mark Grey, Mixer - Ill Factor, Producer, Instruments - Joshua Maidan, Engineer, Recorder - Cheri London, Composer, Vocals

© 2007 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2007 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

11
Scarlet Ribbons
Davide de Rose
00:05:34

Alexis Smith, Engineer - ROISIN MURPHY, Composer, Producer, Vocals, MainArtist - Dan Carey, Producer, Mixer, Engineer, Recorder - Mike Ward, Composer - Robin Mullarkey, Bass - Ed Stevens, Keyboards - Ill Factor, Production - Jan Ozveran, Guitar - Davide de Rose, Drums - Dean Honer, Composer - Richard Barret, Composer

© 2007 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2007 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

12
Body Language
Andy Cato
00:04:37

Andy Cato, Composer, Producer, Engineer, Instruments - ROISIN MURPHY, Composer, Producer, Vocals, MainArtist - Tom Elmhirst, Mixer

© 2007 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2007 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

13
Parallel Lives
Richard X
00:04:20

Richard x, Composer, Producer, Engineer, Keyboards, Recorder - ROISIN MURPHY, Composer, Producer, Vocals, MainArtist - Tom Elmhirst, Mixer

© 2007 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2007 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

Album Description

Arty, cerebral, and sometimes downright kooky, Róisín Murphy zigs where other British pop singers zag. She's been one of pop's best-kept secrets since Moloko disbanded, edging her way toward a sound that isn't exactly mainstream but will give her the more widespread acclaim she deserves. For her first solo album, Ruby Blue, she collaborated with producer Matthew Herbert, who streamlined her sound into something creative but not gratingly quirky; even though "Rama Lama" ended up on So You Think You Can Dance, of all places, Ruby Blue wasn't quite a smash success. This time, Murphy teamed with Bugz in the Attic's Seiji, Groove Armada's Andy Cato, All Seeing I's Parrott & Dean, and Jimmy Douglass -- all forward-thinking producers, but with more conventionally pop sounds than Herbert's approach. Of course, by the late 2000s, even the most mainstream singles had at least a few unique production flourishes, so while Overpowered is without a doubt Murphy's most straightforward music yet, she hasn't sacrificed much to make it that way. With its sleek beats, bubbling synths, and nagging chorus, "Overpowered" closely resembles a state-of-the-art pop single, but the way Murphy sings of science and oxytocin over a heart-fluttering harp is unmistakably her. The rest of Overpowered follows suit, giving familiar sounds clever twists that will please longtime Murphy fans and win new ones. The effortless "You Know Me Better," "Let Me Know," and "Checkin' on Me" are chilly yet soulful, touching on disco, house, and '80s pop; "Movie Star" is Murphy's spin on Goldfrapp's glossy glam pop (and the only time she seems in danger of being overpowered by someone else's sound on the album). Even though these songs are immaculately crafted, there's plenty of life -- and Murphy's personality -- in them. "Primitive"'s synths and strings flit around like mosquitoes in a swamp as she wails "I need to let you out of your cage," while "Dear Miami"'s deadpan delivery and spare beats make it possibly the frostiest song ever written about global warming. Overpowered often feels less intimate than Ruby Blue, but that's a minor quibble, especially when "Scarlet Ribbons" shows off Murphy's tender side and the outstandingly crisp, bouncy, and sassy "Footprints" and "Body Language" rank with her best songs. Aptly enough for such a pop-focused album, nearly every song on Overpowered sounds like a potential smash hit. Even if this album is a bid for the big time, it's done with such flair that it just underscores what a confident and unique artist Murphy really is.
© Heather Phares /TiVo

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