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Roisin Murphy

'Hairless Toys' (Play It Again Sam)

8/10

  • S Worthy
  • 8 April 2015
Roisin Murphy

Back in 2007 the dance world was in love with Róisín Murphy. She combined the quirkiness of Björk, the sultriness of ABBA's Agnetha and diva-ness of Kylie. Then she disappeared to do important stuff, like have children. Forged with musical director Eddie Stevens: 'Hairless Toys' is outstanding, all elegant deep house offset by country-flecked soul and idiosyncratic downtempo. Part Grace Jones, part Goldfrapp, part, er, Róisín Murphy, it's a career high. Opener 'Gone Fishing' – inspired by early house's role in providing a haven for minorities – builds from twinkly, sweet-natured shimmy to an intense finale. 'Evil Eyes' is worth the price of admission alone; summoning the spirit of Ms Jones by way of Close Encounters of The Third Kind and Don Carlos' Italo-house classic 'Alone', it's a tour de force. 'House Of Glass' is all about a warm organ drone, sultry vocals and a twitching, complex groove, while 'Unputdownable' switches from eerie electro hymn to soaring gospel-pop. How we've managed without Miss Murphy for so long is, frankly, a mystery.

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