Roísín Murphy 'Take Her Up To Monto' (Play It Again Sam)
Roísín Murphy returns with another reminder of why she has more charm, chutzpah and ideas than most of her peers put together. After last year’s Mercury Prize-nominated ‘Hairless Toys’, Murphy and her musical comrade Eddie Stevens travel to the dark heart of electronic pop with ‘Take Her Up To Monto’. As ever, her lyrics are delivered with rapier precision: scabrous, witty and self-deprecating, you can’t help but smile when she sings “It’s cruel to make you feel guilty when I let my pretty garden grow wild” on the experimental ‘Pretty Gardens’. ‘Mastermind’, meanwhile, is the closest song here to ‘Evil Eyes’, the sparkliest dancefloor moment from ‘Hairless Toys’: a menacing, Moroder-esqye disco monster, it’s studded with arpeggiated trills and a searing laser battle breakdown. As with the lo-fi rhumba of ‘Lip Service’ and demonic house of ‘Nervous Sleep’, there’s a cinematic quality throughout – it’s unsurprising, given that Murphy now directs her own fascinatingly strange promos. Not that she’s getting ahead of herself; the album artwork sees this most glam of performers wearing a hard hat and hi-vis jacket. “Maybe I ain’t got such a funny face after all,” she quips on the jerky ‘Romantic Comedy’. Damn the self-doubt. This is a complex and endlessly enjoyable record.