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Roisin Murphy: ‘Orally Fixated’

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  • published
    29 Dec 2009
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Available on: digital download

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One of the best decisions Roisin Murphy ever made was to work with Seiji on her second album. On the LP’s title track, the former Bugz In The Attic producer provided a poppy but rolling, bass-heavy setting for Murphy’s vocals which worked like a dream, especially compared to the laudable but inaccessible jazz-pop sound of her Herbert-helmed debut.

Seiji is kept on board – and joined by Alexander Nut’s new recruit to his Eglo records, FunkinEven – for ‘Orally Fixated’, a free download track trailing Murphy’s 2010-due third album. It starts terrifically, with an extended intro of subtle synth peels, juddering 909 drums and sturdily funky bassline – before Murphy slinks in with pretty much the perfect opening line (“Don’t take my lollipop…”). Though piquant and polished throughout, the lyrics can’t quite decide whether they want to be literal, metaphorical or a cheeky mingling of both, and it’s uncertain whether the “baby” Murphy is addressing is obsessed with talking, eating, blowjobs, or all three. I suppose the ambiguity kind of works in its favour – but with heavy-handed lines about “stuffing your face” being bandied about, I for one would like to know whether we’re dealing with cake or cock. Ahem.

Musically, it doesn’t quite hang together. The stripped-down, sassy verses sound fantastic, Murphy’s vampish delivery spot-on (hearing that voice is always a treat). But then there’s a sudden and jarring shift in key for the chorus, which despite being damned catchy sounds likes it’s been lifted from a completely different song and hastily pasted on. Full marks, though, for the unfashionable inclusion of a guitar solo at the tail-end of proceedings. I like guitar solos. I’d completely forgotten they existed.

‘Orally Fixated’ is no ‘Overpowered’, then, but you know what? It’s still streets ahead of pretty much all commercial pop released this year. I have high hopes for the album.

Ben Baglin

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