mon 22/07/2024

Album: Róisín Murphy - Hit Parade | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Róisín Murphy - Hit Parade

Album: Róisín Murphy - Hit Parade

Masterful and majestic – this is Murphy's finest hour, controversy or no

Ignore the scary image and dive right in

Here’s one woman "of a certain age" who definitely isn’t invisible. But she’s in the middle of a media furore on which we’d rather not dwell. Sadly it might be the very thing that gets her the publicity she surely deserves. Remember when there was no such things as bad publicity? Vastly under-appreciated, she is a creative powerhouse. Innovative, daring and most of all unpredictable.

There’s nothing lazy or repetitive here – quite a feat after 30 years in the business. “On paper, I shouldn’t still be able to surprise people this much, so I’m very proud of that. I’ve gone around for the last four or five years knowing this record is happening, and it’s given me great purpose and confidence,” she reveals on the album press release. This is her sixth album, the first on Ninja Tunes and it’s an absolute triumph.

Murphy “worked remotely, in different countries sending tracks/ideas back and forth” with Hamburg-based DJ Koze, who inspired the title by joking “I will put you on the Hit Parade, I’ll put you on Top of the Pops” (that might be a push given that Radio One wouldn’t play Kylie Minogue even when she was in the top 10. Know your place, not-youthful-ladies!)

Her vocal timbre and scale is revelatory. In some instances, you wouldn’t actually know it was her. In a good way. Boundary breaking and idiosyncratic, the album twists and turns – one minute all future-facing and cosmic, the next kind of retro but in a completely fresh way. It’s deeply textured and demands multiple plays. In fact, beware – you won’t be able to stop listening once you’ve dipped your toe into this delicious concoction.

There are many standouts and the singles are among them. “Fader” has an uplifting, epic grandeur (the self-directed video is a thing of beauty, too) sampling the much-older-sounding “I Learned the Hard Way” by Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings. Considering its contemplation on mortality (“I'll meet my maker, sometime a little later”) it’s remarkably life-affirming. “Coocool” is summer encapsulated in a song and samples Mike James Kingland’s 1971 “Together” to impressive effect. “The Universe” is one of those songs you feel like you’ve heard before. Shimmery and super-catchy, the only quibble is the over-accentuated American accent (and what are the speech clips all about – White Lotus?). I wonder what Murphy would sounds like doing a Grian Chatten? “You Knew” is a seven-minute-long complex club track of powerful grooviness. “Can’t Replicate” channels Lil Louis’ "French Kiss", building in sauciness for another seven minutes. You get your money’s worth with this one.

But that’s the tip of the iceberg. Wall-to-wall brilliance awaits for those not into cancelling.

Below: Watch the video for "Fader" by Roísín Murphy





I was counting down the days 'til this came out but in light of her ill-informed, inflammatory statements against evidence-based care for trans youth, I can't support her. Not only because I try to avoid giving my coins to transphobes, but because when I hear her singing about free will and being a "free bird" now, all I can hear is hypocrisy and the songs sound different to me now. She's a ranting Facebook mom who would prefer to "bow out" of a conversation she started than take the time to learn and grow - and seeing her paint herself as a free spirit or iconoclast while doing that just feels trite. Maybe your review will help her stay comfy on her Ibiza estate while suicidal trans kids continue to struggle for access to care!

What a tragicslly sad and narrow worldview. You'd cancel out half the cultural glory of the world because it didn't conform to your narrow ideology of what's 'acceptable'. Goodbye Tolstoy, Wagner and Picasso. The glory of this album is it's undeniably great. Pretty much every track hits home. It's the culmination of a lifetime of brilliant music from Roisin. There's no way I'm goi g to stop appreciating her because she's expressed an alternative viewpoint to what I believe. Music is music FFS. Just because Van Morrison's an areshole doesn't negate the brilliance of his musical legacy over his and my life times.

Caged birds of hate media should have fun more often. Hit Parade is superb!

I've been excited for this the whole year. For those getting caught up in manufactured controversy, try to remember two things: 1) she didn't criticize a group of people, she criticized a drug and the drug industry, 2) if you want people to get "educated" and "informed" you have to let them make mistakes so there can be a discourse. If you cancel everyone the minute they say something you disagree with, you'll end up with a lot of people keeping their mouths shut and not learning anything. 

Rant over - bring on the tunes cuz we're ready to groove! 

Kathryn I really don't understand your tone against Roísín's age in this article.  The reference to her as a women 'of a certain age' is irrelevant and "Know your place, not-youthful-ladies!", honestly to read this from a woman is so dissappointing. I hope that you're not at the receiving end of this kind of vitriol when you get to that age or if you're there now.  So sad to see you speak against woman like that in such a redundant way.  Roísín has had a career spanning more than 30 years and produced an incedibly formative and culture influencing body of work; the tone about her age is so far from relevant in this conversation and utterly shameful to be highlighting in this article.

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