Once upon a time in the mid ‘90s, there was an electronic-based music trio named Morcheeba. They comprised of two brothers: Ross and Simon Godfrey and a female singer by the name of “Skye Edwards” whom they both met together at a friend’s party.
Morcheeba then went on to become a part of the “Trip-Hop” movement along with other artists such as Tricky and Massive Attack, but not before having major success “in the year two thousand” with a much more upbeat tune called “Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day,” a far cry from their usually moodier songs, such as “Trigger Hippy” and “Blindfold.”
The band eventually decided to kick Skye out for a little while, until she returned to the fold in 2010 for their album “Blood Like Lemonade,” but then after their next album, 2013’s “Head Up High,” Ross and his brother, Simon, decided that they didn’t like each other very much and he, too was given the good-ole heave-hoe.
In September 2016, the two remaining members of Morcheeba decided to take the high road and released their debut album, simply as “Skye & Ross,” rather than, “Morcheeba Featuring Skye & Ross,” or “Morcheeba Without The Other Guy.”
This album was released in physical formats on Pledge Music and you could buy the orange coloured signed LP or CD. So, with that in mind, here is my LP-Styled review of their debut album:
Repay the Saviour: Clocking in at two minutes and twelve seconds, this song almost serves as an intro to the album. It’s very short and to the point, sounding quite atmospheric and minimal with some synths being played in the background along with an electric guitar, both of which are performed by Ross. Of course, Skye is on lead vocals. You’d think that a song like this one would be about God, or Jesus, but since both Skye and Ross are Atheists, it’s actually about Skye’s husband. Still, it’s done very well.
Light Of Gold: Whether they’re calling themselves Morcheeba or not, this song would be exactly what you would expect from them. It’s quite a bass heavy type of tune that almost sounds like there’s a crackle of an old vinyl record in the background. In other words, it sounds a lot closer to the original Trip-Hop sound that they were displaying when they first came out. At the very same time, there’s a difference between this song and their previous work, which is lyrically a lot darker. “Light Of Gold,” on the other hand, is clearly much more of an uplifting type of love song. Skye and Ross even cast a real-life romantic couple in the video. So far, so good.
All My Days: The trip-hop vibe continues on this next song… which is lyrically pretty deep and perhaps very personal: “You came into my life just in time, you are my first aid… you know you saved my life.” Wow. “Set my fears to fade.” That’s a great lyric. Skye’s delivery is even better, as she really holds on to the note without ever screaming, cutting herself off or warbling. Just the way it should be done!
How To Fly: Most artists would include a ballad about midway through their album. In the case of Skye & Ross, we’ve been given a song that’s slightly more upbeat. And why wouldn’t it be? Skye is bringing forth yet another uplifting message about relaxing, but most importantly, reaching up and touching the sky. Positivity is the word that comes to mind. This song features Skye’s husband Steve on Bass and their son, Jaega on Drums, who also toured with them while they were promoting this album.
Clear My Mind: It’s always a pleasure to listen to a song that’s stripped all the way down to its bare bones and that’s precisely what you’re getting: Ross strumming an acoustic guitar, Skye accompanying him with some words of wisdom: “Who? All that I forgive. You. All that I forget. Clear my mind. One more time.” We should all take that message to heart and spread it all the way around…. for sure. One of the best songs on the album. “Clear My Mind” is exactly the kind of song that needs to be experienced on vinyl. And with that, it’s time to get up and turn the record over.
Hold On: Back to the trip-hop roots on this next jam. Words like “bittersweet” that appear in the lyrics sheet may give the listener the impression that this is going to be a slightly darker one, but it’s not really. It’s more like Skye is acting as the voice of reason, or support for all those times where we might be struggling. You know what? Just listen to the song, dammit! Stop over-analysing! OK, next song.
Medicine: Yuck. Nobody likes medicine, so why would you write a whole song about it? No, seriously it’s clearly about somebody who makes Skye feel better, hence the “medicinal” comparison… not to be confused with that other green stuff they named their band after. Again, Skye’s husband and son are featured on this one… and even though Jaega was only 18 or 19 when this album was being recorded, he’s actually a really good drummer.
Feet First: Damn, where are we now? In the wild, wild west? Or are we in some kind of desert? Ross is playing a sitar on this one, which he’s combined with an electric guitar. Definitely something different, that’s for sure. Lyrically, this song’s quite an eye-opener: “Feet first, my soul hits the ground. Screams heard… You won’t break me. No, don’t forsake me…. this eagle badge took the last of my cash….” If any of these words are being used an attack on Ross’s brother, then that’s cold. This song was initially misinterpreted by “the writer of this review” as being much more “rock” based, but after paying closer attention, that’s clearly not the case! Jaega’s on the drums on this one, too.
Head Home: Another one of those ditties that’s very short & to the point. Once again, it’s quite acoustic guitar based. Although, this time around, Ross has decided to play some other instruments. One of which was named after a certain Morcheeba album, i.e.: “Charango.” In a way, this song would’ve made a nice closer, as it seems to be literally about bring it back home, so to speak. Then again, just leaving things like that may have left you wanting more.
The Point of No Return: Feel free to start singing that “Phantom Of The Opera” song, but don’t expect to hear it when you play the closer on Skye & Ross’s debut album. While it’s an entirely original song, it’s definitely not a cheery one by any means. You see, when Skye & Ross were promoting this album, Ross actually confirmed the fact that in this song, he’s closing the door on Morcheeba for good. It’s OVER. And it certainly doesn’t sound like he was in a very good mood when he wrote this song, either: “Now I’ve crossed the river, past the point of no return… deep inside…. to the devil’s lounge.” DAMN. Too much drama.
VERDICT: Negative lyrics aside, this is undoubtedly the type of album that you can just sit back and relax to, especially if you’re listening to it through a great set of headphones. Furthermore, it really shows you how much Skye’s voice has matured over time: She’s no longer that petite black girl with the slightly Cockney accent singing about death, she’s now a grown woman taking on a much more soothing type of tone. And yes, it can even be said that she now has the potential to sound seductive. However the listener chooses to interpret this type of music, it’s an excellent, solid first effort from the duo formerly known as Morcheeba.