Tuesday, November 19th, 2019

Róisín Murphy – Narcissus

We’re mildly obsessed with this…


Alfred Soto: For several years she’s released a series of long singles unencumbered by notions about “datedness”; she follows her muse, which may result in inert tracks, who gives a damn. The string stabs, veiled sleeve, and whispered vocal evoke the Donna Summer of “Try Me On, I Know We Can Make It.” The most retro move of Róisín Murphy’s career, and I’d retire it in camphor were it not for the live-er than ever Murphy vocal starting at the four-minute mark. 

Katherine St Asaph: Róisín Murphy doing an allegorical take on “Cry Baby” or “Mastermind,” which almost starts to turn into “A Fifth of Beethoven” (substitute Walter Murphy/David Shire song of choice) was already guaranteed to be great, so I am happy to report this is even better.

Ian Mathers: So stately and well-appointed that it seems less suited for actual dancing than for contemplation from a chaise lounge, but that’s not necessarily a complaint.

Natasha Genet Avery: An eight-minute run-time does not a disco song make. Róisín’s voice sounds grating and awkward in her low-mid register, the melody line alternates between predictably boring and unexpectedly terrible, and the bassline punctuates the track with no grace whatsoever.

Isabel Cole: A number of very good elements (sharp hook, James Bond disco strings, handclaps!, clever conceit succinctly conveyed, big dramatic climax) that do not convince me to ever listen to a song that is nearly eight minutes long ever again.

Kylo Nocom: I guess this was made for people raised on Popjustice and the 2000s Pitchfork brand of poptimism. Lovely strings, meh Nile Rodgers ripping, entertaining vocals, and, well, quite a self-indulgent run-time.

Alex Clifton: I feel disheartened any time I see a dance remix of a song that’s over six minutes long, because usually at least a third of that song is filler. This is not an overlong dance mix; all DJs should listen to this and revel in Róisín Murphy’s power. This is a confident eight-minute statement. Other artists could attempt a track this long and I’d chalk it up to vanity, but “Narcissus” deserves its full length, and it drips with coolness the entire time it plays. The bass is hypnotic but never boring, the strings excellent and sharp, the guitars funky and fun; everything about the instrumentation makes me want more because it is perfect. It’s been ages since I’ve experienced a song that made me leave my own head and live in the music itself, getting wrapped up in all the nooks of the production, but I really am obsessed with “Narcissus” — the reaction I suspect Murphy was aiming for.

Will Adams: “Death by disco strings” is hardly a bad way to go.

Reader average: [5.62] (8 votes)

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9 Responses to “Róisín Murphy – Narcissus”

  1. I love this, but even though I’m not as mad at the runtime as some people this is the one Róisín Murphy song that makes me go to the edited shorter version more often. I’m not sure how it benefits from the extra time.

  2. it’s disco, why wouldn’t it have a long runtime? there are disco songs that go 30 minutes

  3. There are some artists where long songs make up their entire…………. disco-ography

  4. Controversy! I swear I’m usually not this grumpy…

  5. the longer the song, the better imo, especially when it comes to disco. I ascended to a new plane of disco heaven when I found myself dancing to a 13-minute extended mix of Bee Gees’ “Night Fever”

  6. nothing wrong with long songs!! personally just wasn’t too impressed with how this song used its time is all

  7. don’t forget about the b-side! been listening to that one too on constant rotation since this dropped

  8. She does her own thing – the lack of an obvious three minute pop single in her post-2008 canon is best evidence – but she at least seems to be enjoying herself immensely (and moves like Roisin in the new video) and doesn’t seem so hook-averse. Plus disco strings to pluck this old geezers heart.

  9. should be twice as long tbh

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