Release Date: Oct 15, 2013
Record label: PIAS
Genre(s): Electronic, Trip-Hop, Electronica, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Downbeat
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.
Since reuniting with lead singer Skye Edwards for their 2010 album, Blood like Lemonade, Brits Morcheeba have found their heart again. "Gimme Your Love" kicks off eighth album Head up High with Edwards' seductive invitation to, "Pull the blind down/try to wind down/take the liberty," while the dub-enhanced "Make Believer" is playful and sexy, making both upbeat tracks album highlights. While "Call it Love" is an attention-grabbing, Edwards-free diversion sung by James Petralli, its placement as the third track out the gate is abrupt.
While certain acts (Mumford And Sons, James Blunt, Mika) attract blind hatred, Morcheeba have had to put up with something much worse: contempt. During their ’90s sort-of-heyday, Morcheeba were portrayed by their detractors as dead-eyed practitioners of ‘coffee table’ music, riding on the coattails of the then-nascent trip-hop scene. Given that they’ve sold millions of records worldwide, it’s unlikely that the members of Morcheeba have lost much sleep over their lack of critical approval.