Tuesday, May 29th, 2018

Róisín Murphy – All My Dreams

Looking to get a high score at all? Simple! Just be Róisín Murphy…


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Katherine St Asaph: Most people — and I won’t generalize further — prefer Róisín Murphy’s music playful, but I prefer it serious, visceral like a strike to your bones. Her best recurring theme is desire that’s bigger than you (“when I think that I’m over you, I’m overpowered”), that takes all your logic, dignity or maturity and destroys it (“rendered defenseless at the slightest hint of suggestion”), and replaces it with obsession that’s all-consuming to the point of derailment (“I risk my reputation, just to get a room”), impending doom (“ticking like a time bomb till I receive your reply”), and eventual destruction (“are you coming to find me, or waiting until I’m dead?”) So while she’s not actually singing “suicide,” as some reviewers heard — it’s “so as I [can’t breathe],” the vowel distorted by the accompanying palpitation, an intake of breath, try it yourself — you get the sense the feeling’s at about the same level of danger. That danger is ridiculous; the percussion and high-pitched frisson mean business, but the porno slap-bass, spy-movie synths and loud panting mean camp. And the lyrics, while as precise as usual — the “either in or out” after “I can’t breathe,” hyper-aware of exactly when one’s functioning stopped — also include the likes of “this is ridiculously sexy,” slamming the door to camp firm. But then, the language and moves of sex, generally speaking, is objectively ridiculous, thus all the more maddening when they work. Basically, this is six minutes of sonic edging; thank god it didn’t come out in [NOTHING HAS EVER BEEN MORE REDACTED] lest I be exquisitely dead.
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Alfred Soto: After two albums of theoretical dance songs, she returns to ridiculously sexy and bass lines, slapped and plucked. “This wait is driving me crazy” might have been me anticipating an album as marvelous as 2007’s Overpowered. “All My Dreams” takes the best parts of Siouxsie and the Banshees’ “Peek a Boo” and hitches them to an arrangement whose percolations never stop fizzing. 
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Ryo Miyauchi: Róisín sings as if she hears a much different beat in her head than the one actually presented by Maurice Fulton, who hands in one drunken funk slapping together key pieces from about three different classic house tunes. It’s slightly tough to find stable ground with such echo and commotion, and that breathy, punctuated chorus stumbles any sort of momentum. Yet no matter how alien the groove may be, the way she dances to the beat manages to turn delirium into a fascinating disco.
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Juana Giaimo: A little bit sinister and a little bit danceable, “All My Dreams” needs something to unify all its elements. There are some metallic noises in the middle of the track and for a moment it seems that they’ll work as a transition, but after a few seconds the same repetitive beat and minimalistic synths are back.
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Ian Mathers: As someone who’s used to liking what Murphy does in theory but never quite viscerally getting it in practice, this is a nice surprise. Not sure if it’s the bass line or the extended length or the slightly episodic structure (it’s definitely not the bit where she proves she knows all the syllables in “ridiculous”), but “All My Dreams” is the most I’ve ever actually enjoyed a Róisín Murphy song (including “Overpowered”).
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Edward Okulicz: “All my dreams come true” is supposed to be a description of a good state, so it’s unlikely anyone’s sung the words with such fright. You could take out all the drums, demented slap-bass and anything that could be interpreted as a topline and just leave the panting backing vocals and “All My Dreams” would be interesting, too.
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Jibril Yassin: A sensual fever dream with plenty of the fever to match and by fever, I mean overwhelming cacophony of….everything.
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Reader average: [8] (1 vote)

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