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4.7 out of 5 stars
36
4.7 out of 5 stars
Statues
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 20 October 2017
Always liked this album still do
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on 14 July 2003
...anyone who's bought a Moloko album usually knows what to expect by now - the singles, a lot of filler and maybe one or two listenable tracks among this filler. Not a great recommendation, but Moloko albums have been consistently self indulgent not-particularly-interesting affairs.
Until Statues.
Housed in a bizarre sleeve showing Roisin emerging from a Cornish harbour, drunk as a skunk and sloshing her beer everywhere. This is one cool, cool lady.
Familiar Feeling opens Statues beautifully - the intro alone is worth the price of the album... blissful.
There's only one duff track on the album - and strangely, it's track 2, the old-style Moloko rears its ugly head on 'Come on', a painful choppy tuneless number that grates, especially coming right after the divine Familiar Feelings. The good news is that there's only one bad track - next up is the electronica tinged Cannot Contain This, five and a half minutes of technofoolery and arched, aloof vocals.
The best track on the album is the impossibly beautiful title track. Sounding like a modern day Marianne Faithfull, Roisin sings Moloko's greatest lyric.... "if all the statues in the world would turn to flesh with teeth of pearl, would they be kind enough to comfort me?".... the song ends with Roisin singing what appears to be the theme from 70s cop show The Gentle Touch - and it's no bad thing. This sounds like a band at their peak who know it - it's a brave song and it dazzles on an album full of gems.
The gloriously sassy, self assured Forever More is next, all throbbing pulsing bass and dark techno burbles - sounds like the sort of track Grace Jones would give her hat collection away for.
Blow by Blow is a happy enough Moloko by numbers type track, and things get back to life with the fabulous 100% - surely a contender for the next single, all Latin beats, perky chorus and tinkly piano. Perfect beach record.
The other track to take your breath away is The Only Ones. Sounding like a song from Alison Moyet's recent triumph, 'Hometime', it's a confident, sexy number based round a simple guitar riff. It oozes style and never has a vocoder sounded so sexy. Another great possible single.
I Want You sounds like the song Moloko should write for the Pet Shop Boys - with some cheeky PSBesque synth riffs, crazy orchestra swirls and an assured, crystal clear delivery from Murphy, this is a pure pop heaven number.
The album closer, Over and Over is a delightful 10 minutes of Craig Armstrong-like orchestration and melancholy. The final two mintes sounds like Depeche Mode during their metal banging phase..... a storming, never less than brilliant closer.
So we finally have it - a truly great Moloko album, the record they've always meant to make. Slick, polished, beautifully crafted - Statues is nothing short of wonderful.
A summer album, and, after their awesome, show-stealing set at Glastonbury, one that looks likely to spawn quite a few hit singles yet.
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on 1 March 2003
Moloko's greatest strength has always been their very british quirkiness. However, unfortunately it is often this quirkiness that is their greatest weakness, often smothering the material beneath. NOT ON THIS ALBUM, HURRAH!!
This album has none of those weaknesses. Exquisitely crafted, beautifully produced and supremely well performed. Sometimes it harks back to the 70's and 80's, but does so without ever sounding dated. I tried to identify high points, but it is all fantastic, with maybe the tight electronic syncopation of the sublime "Cannot Contain This" perhaps edging its nose in front. This set of songs is a tour de force, from the stomping "Familiar Feeling" to the haunting "Statues" it gets better with each listen. Once the remix crews get to some of these tunes our summer is going to be filled with cracking floor fillers (quick Boris they're all over here).
AWESOME!
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on 13 June 2003
It was mostly out of a sense of loyalty and nostalgia that I bought Statues. I'd felt Moloko's third album release, Things To Make And Do, was a shambolic introduction to the band, for new listeners lured by dancefloor smashes Sing It Back and The Time Is Now.
Well, what a pleasant surprise, because the duo haven't just retread the past glories off kook classics Do You Like My Tight Sweater? and I Am Not A Doctor, but overshot them with a maturity which only bolsters their insight to date.
Roisin Murphy's voice is better than ever. A friend of mine who dropped by when I was playing it said, "Alanis Morissette on weed", and while you can see what he means, the lyrical approach, while no less intelligent, has a charming idiosyncracy that's so far from the North American sensibility as to make comparisons pretty unhelpful.
And Mark Brydon's always inventive arrangements benefit now from a more orchestral sweep than previously . When this is fused with electronica , as in the opener, Familiar Feeling (the version here having a two-minute, staccato intro that's pure anxiety) and I Want You, the effect is pure synesthesia. Mind you, the strings on this album would make it worth a punt on their own.
Bouncy slices of dance-pop like 100% and Cannot Contain This could easily reiterate Moloko’s undoubted club appeal, but it’s the lyrics that’ll have you poring over the insert. They’ve always been leftfield, to say the least, but they can take on subjects such as obsession, lost love and disappointment as well as any torch balladeer.
It's one of those rare albums where you have a new favourite track every day.
Even the melodrama of the final track, Over And Over, at nigh-on ten minutes, manages to feel self-indulgent for the listener, rather than the musicians. Indulge yourself – you might not get as much wear out of a CD for quite a while.
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on 28 January 2004
As a newcomer to Moloko listening - memories of catchy dance tunes Sing it back, Time is now, but also seeing appearances on Jools Holland - I am stunned by 'Statues'. With a jazz/funk background but a soft spot for funky dance tunes I bought Statues speculatively for Cannot Contain This and Forever More, which are stunning productions but am now bowled over by the originality, class and great production values of the whole disc. The closing epic Over & Over is an extraordinary piece capped by the string arrangements of the long coda. I have never heard such punchy brass arrangements. Roisin Murphy's is a female voice to reckon with. This is great stuff!
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on 14 July 2015
Moloko have had great success with some their more commercial tracks like 'Sing It Back' and 'Familiar Feeling', but what impresses me is their combination of creating massive hits yet still maintaining an underground status and quality. This album is a great example of some of this type of amazing music. There are very few bands that have their style and ability to create such strange sounds with dominant edgy vocals that just works. If you don't know much about them think of Goldfrapp meets Jamiroquai kind of? Its hard to define but that's what I love. You may also like Red Snapper, Flevans and Portishead.
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on 13 June 2003
It was mostly out of a sense of loyalty and nostalgia that I bought Statues. I'd felt Moloko's third album release, Things To Make And Do, was a shambolic introduction to the band, for new listeners lured by dancefloor smashes Sing It Back and The Time Is Now.
Well, what a pleasant surprise, because the duo haven't just retread the past glories off kook classics Do You Like My Tight Sweater? and I Am Not A Doctor, but overshot them with a maturity which only bolsters their insight to date.
Roisin Murphy's voice is better than ever. The lyrical approach, while no less intelligent, has a charming idiosyncracy that's so far from the North American sensibility as to make comparisons pretty unhelpful.
And Mark Brydon's always inventive arrangements benefit now from a more orchestral sweep than previously . When this is fused with electronica , as in the opener, Familiar Feeling (the version here having a two-minute, staccato intro that's pure anxiety) and I Want You, the effect is pure synesthesia. Mind you, the strings on this album would make it worth a punt on their own.
Bouncy slices of dance-pop like 100% and Cannot Contain This could easily reiterate Moloko's undoubted club appeal, but it's the lyrics that'll have you poring over the insert. They've always been leftfield, to say the least, but they can take on subjects such as obsession, lost love and disappointment as well as any torch balladeer - all with Roisin's brittle, delicately-phrased vocals wrapped deliciously around them.
It's one of those rare albums when you'll have a new favourite track every day. Today, that's The Only Ones (track 8).
Even the melodrama of the final track, Over And Over, at nigh-on ten minutes, manages to feel self-indulgent for the listener, rather than the musicians. Indulge yourself - you might not get as much wear out of a CD for quite a while.
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on 7 August 2005
Moloko have always turned out unique and individual music. 'Do you like my tight sweater?' had some great stuff mixed in with the genuinely unbearable ('Killa Bunnies' anyone?). 'Things to make and do' seemed to confirm the pressure to churn out new releases was quickly strangling their genius. But 'Statues' is a total revelation.
Instrumentally it is varied and original without pushing the boundaries just to impress. There are fat funky analog sounds, beats are perfectly judged, and the string samples never sound grafted on. Much of the album is in a minor key but this is not fake sincerity. Instead it is the perfect canvas for Roisin's heartbreaking lyrics, which mostly concentrate on the fear of lonliness and the subjectivity of emotion ('Though you dare to deny it, I'm always reminded of you' from 'I want you'). Roisin's delivery should humble any wanabe pop princesses - Step aside for the queen of heartfelt dance music!
Someone commented this album is a bit 'samey'. When there's this much concentrated brilliance on offer I personally wouldn't have it any other way!
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on 20 March 2004
Well well well. Moloko are the kind of band who make me worried every time I listen to them. Worried, that is, that they are going to split up any moment, and leave me scouring the second hand CD shops in search of something to fill the void...
Fortunately for the time being they appear to be going strong. After the hard-going but rewarding Things To Make And Do, Roisin et. al. decided to make an album of "songs". So here we are with ten full length tracks (minus the 8 bitty filler tracks that sometimes detracted from their earlier fine work).
The CD opens where The Time Is Now left off, a semi acoustic samba based number Familiar Feeling. A lifting soaring track that moves and shifts constantly. Later, Statues (probably the most melancholy Moloko tune ever) laments with the fantastic lyric "If all the statues in the world would turn to flesh with teeth of pearl, would they be kind enough to comfort me?". There are a few lower points, unhelpful votes at the ready chaps - we all know that's what you use them for - the fairly lacklustre Come On and Cannot Contain This, but the standout tracks more than make up for the lack of imagination elsewhere. Moloko are a band that command and earn forgiveness in droves.
Bless 'em. Please don't split up, cheers.
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on 19 June 2003
It was mostly out of a sense of loyalty and nostalgia that I bought Statues. I'd felt Moloko's third album release, Things To Make And Do, was a shambolic introduction to the band for new listeners lured by dancefloor smashes Sing It Back and The Time Is Now.
Well, what a pleasant surprise, because the duo haven't just retread the past glories off kook classics Do You Like My Tight Sweater? and I Am Not A Doctor, but overshot them with a maturity which only bolsters their insight to date.
Roisin Murphy's voice is better than ever. A friend of mine who dropped by when I was playing it said, "Alanis Morissette on weed", and while you can see what he means, the lyrical approach, while no less intelligent, has a charming idiosyncracy that's so far from the North American sensibility as to make comparisons pretty unhelpful.
And Mark Brydon's always inventive arrangements benefit now from a more orchestral sweep than previously . When this is fused with electronica , as in the opener, Familiar Feeling (the version here having a two-minute, staccato intro that's pure anxiety) and I Want You, the effect is pure synesthesia. Mind you, the strings on this album would make it worth a punt on their own.
Bouncy slices of dance-pop like 100% and Cannot Contain This could easily reiterate Moloko's undoubted club appeal, but it's the lyrics that'll have you poring over the insert. They've always been leftfield, to say the least, but they can take on subjects such as obsession, lost love and disappointment as well as any torch balladeer - all with Roisin's brittle, delicately-phrased vocals wrapped deliciously around them.
It's one of those rare albums when you'll have a new favourite track every day. Today, that's The Only Ones (track 8).
Even the melodrama of the final track, Over And Over, at nigh-on ten minutes, manages to feel self-indulgent for the listener, rather than the musicians. Indulge yourself - you might not get as much wear out of a CD for quite a while.
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