Martina Topley-Bird has a noble pedigree. Her work with
Mr Tricky and Massive Attack are pretty serious credentials
but 'Some Place Simple' strips away the layers of past
collaborations to reveal a singer and songwriter of
singular and enchanting facility and subdued passion.
Ms Topley-Bird has a voice which could have stepped out
of a book of fairy tales. The magical fragility of her
gentle tone and economically deployed vibrato give these
fifteen compositions a facinating otherworldly quality.
The project is substantially a reimagining of previous
songs but also delivers a few toothsome new ones too.
Jump straight to 'Da Da Da' for a delightful example of
her quirky imagination and subtle craft. The song sounds as
though she has donned an elfin dress and stepped into a musical
box where she performs the wordless melody whilst simultaneously
spinning yarn from the silver threads of spider webs. (Honestly!)
'Poison' is stripped-down latin invention full of canny
percussion and some dangerously long pauses for her voice
to fall in and out of but Ms T-B doesn't miss a single beat.
The rolling hurdy-gurdy-like accompaniment of 'Snowman'
brings some darker and more mysterious colours into the mix.
The creepy dream-like atmosphere generated by the unsettling
vocal somehow brought the final song, 'Der Leiermann', from
Franz Schubert's 1827 song-cycle 'Winterreise' to mind.
The angular down-beat blues of 'Sandpaper Kisses' is a
simply wonderful composition. Ms T-P demonstrates both the
high and low ends of her substantial vocal range and the
restrained power she can call upon to make make shivers run
up and down our spines. It is a truly stunning performance!
'Kiss Kiss Kiss' only lasts a minute but what a pretty minute
it is! It comes and goes like a butterfly landing on a flower.
'Some Place Simple' finds Martina Topley-Bird in a strange
new place of her own design and at the very top of her game.
It is a captivating experience.
on 29 August 2012
Although a little bit of a disappointment not to get some new songs (been a while Martina), this is a wonderful stopgap and more than, as the sparse Damon Albarn inspired production, which worked so well on his own Mali Music, brings out the strength in these familiar songs in a different way. For my money, MTB is one of the most intriguing British artists around, and she could sing a shopping list and make it sound interesting.....
on 27 October 2013
Stripped down versions of Martina's songs, putting her vocals at the forefront of each track. Wonderful arrangements beautifully compliment the majestic quality of Martina's voice. Well worth a listen whether you're familiar with Martina's previous albums, or whether you are coming to this as a first time listener.
on 30 August 2013
Exactly as described, arrived on time, well packaged, excellent condition. Love this lady and her gorgeous voice, glad she's stuck to her very individual style of music writing, also the Tricky/Martina combo can't be beat.
on 22 October 2010
Different from the usual productions of Martina...better, in this album u can feel important differences of structures with the "Ninja" production!
So acoustic, so intimate, so evocative, so minimalist: very delicious sound!!!
And, HER voice is simply majesty, here, in this cd just fantastic!!!!! sure quality-music lovers, buy it!