Morcheeba‘s Blood Like Lemonade is notable for a number reasons. For starters, it’s a funky, sexy, vibrant entry in the band’s discography. More importantly, though, the album marks the return of the fucking tremendous Skye Edwards.
The vocalist makes wastes no time making a big different, lending her distinctive, arresting tone and sensual, compelling enunciation to the album’s diverse selection of music. Hers is a voice that can raise an album from the ashes of normalcy into a beautiful, life-affirming haze of satisfaction.
Think I’m over-selling the case? You obviously haven’t heard what Skye can do with a single turn of phrase.
Sure, some might say that the Godfrey brothers comprise the bulk of Morcheeba with their constructions of gauzy trip hop and blues. And nobody, least of all me, is interested in undercutting their musical contributions. Theirs is a vibe that has few equals in music. Its diverse, exploratory nature is addictive.
But with Skye back in the fold, Morcheeba takes on new meaning. Perhaps it’s unfair to suggest that this release puts the band back into the ol’ late-90s fold again, but Blood Like Lemonade really is one hell of an impressive piece of art.
The difference Skye makes is apparent with the first track. “Crimson” has a funky, slinky sort of feel, offering the singer a clear opportunity to state her intentions with immediacy. She bends and twists the words on the song’s chorus, adopting various paths to the pronunciation of the same words. She’s hypnotic.
The title track is another thick slice of funky trip hop. Skye’s delicate approach is perfect, accompanying the song’s willowy course with fine-grained precision.
Then there’s the graceful and soulful “Recipe for Disaster,” a cut that rolls out a story of murder that fits the record’s blood-soaked theme expertly. “Wanna know why there’s a dead guy in my dining room?” she asks to start the deliciously diabolical cut. The teasingly shrewd details of the incident, it turns out, remain just out of view.
Punched up with stories of Vikings and astronauts, Blood Like Lemonade is an epic piece of work. But the real story of Morcheeba’s seventh is Skye’s return to the party. Her presence doesn’t merely drive the band back to where it was; it reappropriates and redesigns the structure of Morcheeba for newness, establishing the underrated band as a musical force to pay some serious attention to.