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01. Slow down
04. Sao Paulo
06. What New York couples fight about
07. Undress me now
08. Way beyond
09. Women lose weight
10, Get along
11. Public displays of affection
12. The great London traffic warden massacre
Although this is Morcheeba's fourth album (not including their stint with the "Back to Mine" series), "Charango" is just as fresh and artistic as each of their previous albums. In my opinion, they once again succesfully venture into new ground while keeping the sound that has been their signature throughout their previous releases.
The album starts off with the slow and sensual track, "Slow Down", which is reminiscent of their approach in their debut album "Who Can You Trust?", a nod to their fans from the beginning. They seem to tell you to relax and chill, which is what I loved about Morcheeba from the start.
The next track is "Otherwise", which I felt very easy to get into. This one reminds me of their second album "Big Calm". However, it has a different edge to it as Skye (the lead singer) is blasting a no-good lover, something new from the usually optimistic group. I like it though, this group always tries something new. This may be the track most people would enjoy as it is, I feel, the most mainstream.
"Aqualung" is another track I like due to it's fresh poppy beat which keeps a slight tone of melancholy. It's an interesting mix of instruments but it does maintain an easy harmony.
"Sao Paulo" is another new direction for the band, and possibly the track I love the most. The music is not something I haven't heard before, but the lyrics are ironically powerful, a completely different mood from the background.
"Charango", which features Pacewon, is a cool upbeat groove with sporadic rap here and there. I like this one, pretty urban and chill, but like many of the songs in this album, there's that dark tone.
"What New York Couples Fight About" is another dark urban story set in an otherwise simple tune. Kurt Wagner sings with Skye here, and I feel he does a great job.
"Undress Me Now" is a sensual groove with what I think is a little bit of 70's style thrown in. It's still Morcheeba though and the lyrics are clever. Great slow soothing track, something to use to set the mood.
"Way Beyond" is a another track I enjoy a lot. This one kind of has some 70's groove thrown in too. It's a relaxing tune with an interesting held-back message in the lyrics.
"Women Lose Weight" is like Will Smith singing an Eminem song. This features Slick Rick who I felt does a great job for such a strange release from Morcheeba. I though it was enjoyable to listen to but such a dark story may turn some people off.
Pacewon returns in "Get Along". This sounds like it was made between "Big Calm" and "Fragments of Freedom", the group's 2nd and 3rd albums, respectively. It's a slightly more cheerful song, but once Pacewon comes in it turns around and becomes gritty. Cool track!
"Public Displays of Affection" is another interesting track. It's a frustrating song for me, but I love it for that. Very rough and serene at the same time. Oh, the lovelorn...
"The Great London Traffic Warden Massacre" wraps up the album. It's an upbeat musical score with what I felt was another dark undertone. It's very subtle which makes this song, in my opinion, brilliant.
All in all, for old Morcheeba fans, I think you'll like this album, definitely over "Fragments of Freedom". It has all the good points from their previous releases though this may be their darkest album so far. A very different direction from their norm.
For those thinking of trying something new, go for it. I think "Charango" is an odd artistic foray with contradicting levels that effortlessly intertwine and that makes this album one of Morcheeba's best.