Róisín Murphy – Róisín Machine
Róisín Machine by Róisín Murphy is a paralytic time machine with old-time wonder and borrowed shades of 1980s pop music. It’s not so much a psychedelic trip, but rather a groovy adventure with modern swag. It drags in parts, but the lyrics have surprising nuance that is very hard to overlook. The theme mostly covers unrequited love and pining, wrapped in techno beats. The faultless transition between songs and the heavy thread of repetition work well in a dance album that promises the raptures of disco magic and a never-ending party.
The record opens with Simulation. It’s mystical and organic, with strings and heavy breath. Steady and rhythmic, it builds from haunting synth production to disco pop. It stimulates and it’s sensual, but it’s still a little tiring in its length. Kingdom of Ends follows smoothly and incorporates keyboard effects to reiterate the beat thread, but it also introduces new experimental sounds, its layers of vocals creating immersion and atmosphere.
Something More has soulful vocals that run through the listener with airy blue tones, and Shellfish Mademoiselle is both robotic and shyly teasing. Incapable has stylish flair that juxtaposes with the numbing lyrics. This track illustrates how Murphy fully encompasses a cold vocal style that vibrates in slow discotheque, substituting emotions with monotone energy.
The highlights of the album are Murphy’s Law and Narcissus. The former is a classy exploration of feelings, both lackadaisical and upbeat. It traverses complex emotions amid clever lyricism, while remaining seductive. Narcissus, with its fairy-tale beats, explores frustration, spite and arrogance. The combination of instruments, Murphy’s mix and the production create an enticingly taunting tone.
Jealousy is too typical in rhythm. By now, the steady thread has become quite cumbersome to listen to. Nevertheless, it’s saved by Murphy’s creative lyric delivery and the production of the track overall. As a closer, it revitalises the second half of the album that has been stretched thin, and reinforces the party feel that is never-ending, in spite of fruitless romance.
Róisín Machine is released on 2nd October 2020. For further information or to order the album visit Róisín Murphy’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Narcissus here: