An eight year album hiatus is finally over and she provides us with the fine dine of disco.
RÓISIN MURPHY HAIRLESS TOYS (2015, Play it again Sam)
Firstly, it’s still a total mystery to me that her Overpowered from 2007, did not rule the charts. The masterly produced and performed sophomore album was nothing short of a masterclass in the art of dance and pop music. Probably Ms Murphy’s take on the dance floor was way too refined then already. So, now after an album hiatus of almost 8 years, she releases her third solo piece and yet again, she’s refined her craft, taking on an even more sophisticated approach to her love of disco and dance music. Which means being even more out of touch with what’ll work on the charts, almost as if she’s being defiant to it all. As the 9-minute long, subtle, haunting deep house explosion, Exploitation, which is as much mind boggling as it is mind blowing.
To a start I can’t figure Hairless Toys out, the melodies are so intricate, devious and almost nonchalant. At times even the whole production feels defiantly nonchalant and I feel slightly provoked by this fact. But given time, the compositions linger on, they grow, become forces of their own and with her alluring jazzy contralto vocals embracing her anti-choruses with such intimacy and passion, she becomes one with her songs. Even a country crooning piece like Exile, as out of its place as it might be, it still finds its home in between the underground, low tempo dance floor acts. How? I don’t really know. Murphy’s distinct and passionate way of making music is most likely the key.
Róisin Murphy takes no musical or artistic short cuts and therefore she provides us with an album filled with endless layers, nuances and various tricks up its sleeve. It would be lazy, nonchalant and somewhat misguided of me to call Hairless Toys a pure disco album, even though it takes its leap from somewhere around those regions. On its path towards the dance floor the album takes elegant detours and collecting inspiration amongst other things from jazzy and electronic landscapes. Sometimes she doesn’t even make it all way to the club, not that it matters. The musical journey she takes us on is so unpredictable and so beautiful, that the end goal isn’t always the main goal.
Hairless Toys is like the fine dining of disco.