Shuffle: Moog Island (*****)
Morcheeba is the classic case of a band without credibility. If trip hop was your scene, they were sellout popsters driven to make money selling records to noncultists; if you had no interest in trip hop, there was nothing in particular about Morcheeba that would change your mind – they didn’t have the hooks or the beat of a Soul II Soul, after all. So their first album and only good album sold reasonably well to people not afraid to be dabblers and middlebrows, and that’s all you need to know about their career.
A decade later “Moog Island” is the only thing I can still tell you about Morcheeba, and yet it ranks with my favorite songs of all time. To get started, a deeply relaxing voice lays down central principles:
when the business in your life don’t sit in your soul
and they treat you like a child they need to control
the music that we make will heal all our mistakes and lead us
the music that we hear is always standing there to feed us
Like Sleater-Kinney’s “Words and Guitar”, this is firm principle, a way of life music fans share with the artists – but unlike Sleater-Kinney, who I love because they demand that I live with the buzz, Morcheeba has another plan: following a profound three minute pop lyric with two minutes of the most relaxing moog ever recorded. I’m sure if new age is your version of relaxation, you’ll find Morcheeba’s version of relaxation uncomfortably twisted. And if you hate middlebrows, you’ll demand Tricky, who is not relaxed, but jaded. The jaded don’t express principles. “Moog Island” does.
Filed under: Five Star Songs, Morcheeba, Shuffle | 1 Comment