Saturday, September 13, 2008

Album Review: Martina Topley-Bird

Martina Topley-Bird -'The Blue God' (Independiente)

Five years since her solo debut, Quixotic, Martina Topley-Bird releases the follow-up The Blue God. This is an album I've been really enjoying over the last few weeks, and it's about time that I sat down and wrote the review.

The first thing to say is that like her former collaborator, Tricky, it is time to consider this album without expecting it to sound like Maxinequaye. While there is no denying that it was and is an astounding album, we need to consider his and her works on their own terms.

So, no, this is not trip-hop. Rather like Santogold's album from this year, this is an album which is pop, in the intelligent sense of the word, rather than the connotations with manufactured acts that have sullied it, and dumbed it down. It's probably appropriate that it's produced by Danger Mouse, who has firmly established himself as one of this decade's key producers. Those vocals are still there, gently nagging at you and pulling you in. There's a hint of blues, a fair bit of soul, a lot of sheer gorgeousness. In fact, this album has far more in common with, say, prime-era Cardigans than trip-hop.

Highlights of the album would include the single 'Carnies' and 'Poison' but what impresses is just how each time I play this album, another track puts itself as a contender for the album's strongest cut. It's time that Ms. Topley-Bird is acknowledged as one of Britain's great singers and viewed on her own terms.


The Blue God is out now on Independiente

Martina Topley-Bird -'Carnies'

Martina Topley-Bird -'Poison' on Jools Holland

Martina Topley-Bird's webpage


entrailicus said...

I've always been a succker for her voice and think it was when Tricky ditched her that he started to go downhill.

Stuck a track on my last podcast...

Ed said...

Her voice is phenomenal, on both her solo albums and elsewhere.

Think the latest Tricky album Knowle West Boy is quite good though...


Anonymous said...


For those who missed it, new concert video available on, Martina Topley Bird: !

Enjoy :)