Albums of 2007: #16 Roisin Murphy - Overpowered
When her first solo album 'Ruby Blue''s experimental odyssey was a little too much for casual fans of her former band Moloko, it looked like Roisin Murphy might be forever sidelined as just 'a bit of an eccentric', a woman who'd turned her back on Moloko's disco-pop sheen in favour of impenetrable jazzy noodling and someone who'd be just as happy banging out a tune on a wheelie bin rather than being an amazing popstar. This year she turned it round, however, with the stunning 'Overpowered' - ditching the 'challenging' (albeit still impressive) elements of her previous solo excursions and going all-out shameless electropop.
And it succeeded. The critics loved it, casual music buyers loved it, even snooty blog-hipsters loved it inbetween feverishly masturbating over embryonic buzz bands like Black Kids. She's now well on her way to becoming Britain's answer to Bjork: iconic, risk-taking, constantly changing and striking the balance between aloof experi-pop cool, all-out accessibility and real longevity.
'Overpowered' is a joy from start to finish - taking in icy cold electronica (the title track), sultry piano-led discofunk ('Let Me Know'), breathy pop stompers ('You Know Me Better', 'Cry Baby') and anything else Murphy and her array of hip producers fancied chucking in. It's an album that knowingly lifts elements from 70s, 80s, and 90s electro but it's testament to Roisin's artistry that it sounds fresh, horrifically exciting and totally bloody essential.