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Morcheeba - Blood Like Lemonade

Morcheeba, Blood Like Lemonade

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

THE seventh album form trip-hop chillout favourites Morcheeba is notable for marking the return of vocalist Skye for the first time since 2002. It’s a welcome reunion.

Paul and Ross Godfrey may have delivered some quality albums in the time since that acrimonious split, but their best work still springs from The Big Calm era, when they were in their prime.

Blood Like Lemonade doesn’t quite match the brilliance of that album, but it’s a beautiful reminder of why Morcheeba with Skye is a match made in heaven.

Her vocals are simply adorable… seductive, blissful, fragile, feisty – she has it all, and provides a mesmerising focal point for what the Godfrey boys do best.

Early on, especially, it’s masterful stuff. Crimson kicks things off with a deliciously laidback beat and some moody, minimalist synth work to augment a hopelessly sexy vocal from Skye that would probably melt butter.

It really does make you feel excited about all things Morcheeba again!

It’s followed by the equally mesmerising former single Even Though, an ambitious, awe-inspiring production that relays the tale of a dying spaceman looking back at Earth and lamenting how humanity has laid waste to it.

The breathing underpinning the lush beats and layered guitar plucking adds a really nice touch, while Skye’s vocals are as trippy as ever… sending you into a beautiful head-spin of thought and reflection. It’s arguably one of the very best tracks Morcheeba have ever laid down.

And still the excellent start to proceedings continues with title track, Blood Like Lemonade, a track rich in storytelling that imagines a former priest turned vampire roaming the Earth and seeking revenge on those responsible for turning him.

Instrumentally, it’s brilliantly laidback, vocally it’s dark and seductive (as all good vampire tales should be!), while lyrically it displays the depth of the Godfreys’ imagination and ambition.

The bluesy instrumental Mandala follows and is a delicious concoction of lazy slide guitar riffs and even lazier beats, while Skye’s fragile vocal style slides comfortably across a lush acoustic arrangement (minus beats) on the beautifully intimate I Am The Spring.

So far, so absolutely brilliant then…

Alas, the remainder of the album can’t quite match the high standards set by its first half, even though it’s still very good. There are a couple of more ‘filler moments’.

That said, Recipe For Disaster, which examines our obsession with cooking amid a dinner party gone bloodily wrong, is fun and boasts an appropriately delicious chorus, while heart-on-sleeve moment Easier Said Than Done offers some honest moments about the nature of the band’s split and subsequent relationship, as well as some quality trip-hop beats and another strong chorus.

The scratch-laden instrumental Cut To The Bass, though, doesn’t really do much and feels like a jamming, self-satisfied moment, while Self Made-Man is accomplished without doing anything really spectacular.

Fortunately, viking tale Beat Of The Drum rounds things off on a high… featuring a moody, cinematic beat and some bluesy guitar riffs that are indulged with some fine instrumental moments. Skye’s vocals, meanwhile, cut a swathe through the mist she sings about and illuminates another spellbinding tale from the Godfreys.

Blood Like Lemonade isn’t quite a masterpiece, then… but it’s damn near close to being one, with some individual flourishes that are among the finest you’ll hear this year.

Read our interview with Morcheeba

Download picks: Crimson, Even Though, Blood Like Lemonade, Mandala, I Am The Spring, Beat Of The Drum

Track listing:

  1. Crimson
  2. Even Though
  3. Blood Like Lemonade
  4. Mandala
  5. I Am The Spring
  6. Recipe For Disaster
  7. Easier Said Than Done
  8. Cut To The Bass
  9. Self Made Man
  10. Beat Of The Drum