Most dance music nowadays has gotten itself in a sexual rut. A lot of music played in friends’ basements or beach parties, and even to some extent proms and homecomings, have just become excuses to let out pent up sexual frustration or excess of drive in the form of almost synchronized movement of the hips. Following suit, most dance music has found itself in a similar pattern of beats, lyrics, and the moronic excuse for good music, over-reliance on bass. Moloko has made sure to ignore all of these pitfalls and has made a great career by simply making a different kind of dance music and summed it up on their greatest hits album that is fueled by the dances it inspires, Catalogue.
Moloko is Roisin Murphy and Mark Brydon. Their career came together like a love story, because at first, that’s what it was. Playful Murphy came up to Brydon at a dance party one fateful night and said the words, “Do you like my tight sweater?” This became the title of their first album that got them recognition in clubs and elsewhere around the world, selling 250,000 copies. Moloko rose in popularity with groups with a similar independent dance feel such as Portishead and Morcheeba. Murphy and Brydon would go on to make 3 more original albums, reaching beyond their own romantic relationship, but still eventually ending in the break-up that is inevitably in every romantic comedy someplace.
Catalogue spans Moloko’s whole career, catching a glimpse of all of their periods and movements and phases. “Time is Now,” harkens back to an almost disco feel with slightly reverberated vocals and just a touch of the extravagant with a string section riff. “Sing it Back,” their first single, continues in the same spirit of “Time is Now” but in a more modern sense. “Fun for Me” breaks from this little bit of a trend and shows the darker, fun-loving side of Moloko, toying with usual dance lyrics, connecting idea to idea in a logic that responded more to sounds and feelings than semantics. This good-humored side is played on in a little less sarcasm for against musical style on the song, “Pure Pleasure Seeker.” Murphy and Brydon show the sultry and lilting side of love in the song “Bankrupt Emotionally” by meshing both vocal styles with a sporadically crawling instrumental track. “Forever More,” the album’s longest track, is far reaching in all aspects, allowing for great variance and depth in one song.
Catalogue is literally a catalog of Moloko and their approximately 10-year career. They have paid specific attention to not keep still with their songs, and have looked at their music introspectively as they grew, guiding themselves instead of letting stagnating interests of sex and violence among a large portion of the population do it for them.
Roisin Murphy – Ruby Blue
Saint Etienne – Travel Edition 1990-2005
Morcheeba – Big Calm