REVIEW: Roisin Murphy – Take Her Up To Monto

People usually talk about something or someone being an “acquired taste”, but it’s really quite remarkable to see every chapter of the Roisin Murphy discography illustrate that phrase in different ways. Take Her Up To Monto comes mere months after Hairless Toys, and feels like the continued work of an artist with no real comparison.

That works in both a good and bad way for Murphy. Kicking off with Mastermind, her electronic wizardry falls neither under the realm of pop or dance, instead meandering through various styles and forms. It means that ‘songs’ – inverted because, really, they don’t seem to follow any traditional form of what we might recognise – kick into gear at various points, and as we savour them they float off in a new direction.

But that doesn’t stop Murphy being anything other than endlessly mesmerising. If Hairless Toys felt dense and inaccessible, Monto feels like a more scenic journey through her musical hedge maze. Pretty Gardens is a series of understated jabs, while Thoughts Wasted begins in a way that seems like Murphy’s interpretation of R&B before bells, whistles, and clicks take it to the Wes Anderson school of cinematic.

Again, it’s clear that the Roisin Murphy of Overpowered is dead, but in her stead comes an artist that isn’t afraid to bossa nova on Lip Service, or bring on the melodrama with Ten Miles High. In that respect it’s already a much more fascinating record than its predecessor, taking in more styles but in a much less isolating way. More to the point, it reveals an artist still content to give no fucks and revel in the bat-shit, making Murphy that rare breed who still have the power to surprise after decades.

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Roisin Murphy - Take Her Up To Monto
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