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Charango

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
When they stick to their strengths -- lush, string-laden melodies, primal hip-hop beats, and the breathy loveliness of Skye Edwards's voice -- Morcheeba make unparalleled mood music. And for Charango, the trio have taken their vitamins. It's evident right up front, with "Slow Down," a pensive pearl that could have been pulled from their down-tempo breakthrough, Big Calm, and finds Edwards calling out to the world's harried web designers, fashion assistants, and assorted desk jockeys all big Morcheeba fans, to be sure to take it easy. Like Moby, their colleague in hip-hop maturity, Morcheeba hook the over-30 crowd with rootsy experimentation -- who can forget the ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
When they stick to their strengths -- lush, string-laden melodies, primal hip-hop beats, and the breathy loveliness of Skye Edwards's voice -- Morcheeba make unparalleled mood music. And for Charango, the trio have taken their vitamins. It's evident right up front, with "Slow Down," a pensive pearl that could have been pulled from their down-tempo breakthrough, Big Calm, and finds Edwards calling out to the world's harried web designers, fashion assistants, and assorted desk jockeys all big Morcheeba fans, to be sure to take it easy. Like Moby, their colleague in hip-hop maturity, Morcheeba hook the over-30 crowd with rootsy experimentation -- who can forget the gorgeous pedal-steel of Calm's "Part of the Process" -- but here, they don't get lost in the weeds an unfortunate effect on their style-hopping Fragments of Freedom. Throughout, strings cushion the bass-heavy beats, notably the orchestral backing of "Otherwise" and the Bacharach-styled swoon "Way Beyond." The desultory "São Paulo" and "Charango" casually wed tropical trappings -- Brazilian percussion and the titular South American lute -- with Ennio Morricone harmonica and even hardcore rap. Two collaborations with Lambchop auteur Kurt Wagner make twisted sense on paper -- the countrypolitan lyricist meeting the folk-slumming soul chanteuse -- and deliver even more as the feathery and scruffy vocal lines intertwine. All of these elements, plus Ross Godfrey's psychedelic guitar and his brother Paul's scratching, flow uncommonly well; the only rough patch is the hilarious Slick Rick rap, "Women Lose Weight," where the Ruler spins a murderous tale about offing his overweight mate. It's incongruous, but you'd put it on your album, too. Faultless taste guides the rest of this lovingly assembled ode to minor-key moods, one that should inspire much late-night swaying in martini bars across the nation.
All Music Guide - Brian O'Neill
Fragments of Freedom was released in 2000 and not received very well. If critics and fans would have been able to gaze into a crystal ball a couple of years in the future, they would have understood. With the benefit of hindsight, consider Fragments the prototypically disjointed transitional record that saw Morcheeba shifting focus from trip-hop to a more well-rounded mix, as Charango completes the journey that may have been bumpy, but with a sweet destination. Once again, guests are brought in to augment the band's sound; Lambchop's Kurt Wagner returns to help the electronica act with meditative lead vocals that fit into the film noir soundscape that is "What New York Couples Fight About," and Pace Won adds his rhymes to two tunes -- the title track, which harks back to the trip-hopping salad days of the group and sees the rapper taking the lead, and "Get Along," where he makes a more subtle contribution on a dreamy cut that sounds like something from the '70s if they had more modern equipment back then. However, the best is "Women Lose Weight," which sees Slick Rick sound completely old-school with Morcheeba's pop-soul groove letting his typically clever rhymes and dark comedy dominate the song. Though the appearances of outside musicians is a positive move overall, the remainder of the disc as done by the three members of the group stands up on its own; Skye Edwards' vocals are sultry as she makes all diva-like on lead track "Slow Down," the string-drenched melancholic "Otherwise," and the lazy, tropical "Sao Paulo," and overall her performance makes Charango the band's best record in some time, and for anyone not a purist, it's possibly Morcheeba's best ever.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/16/2002
  • Label: Reprise / Wea
  • UPC: 093624834724
  • Catalog Number: 48347

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Slow Down
  2. 2 Otherwise
  3. 3 Aqualung
  4. 4 Sao Paulo
  5. 5 Charango (feat. Pace Won)
  6. 6 What New York Couples Fight About (feat. Kurt Wagner)
  7. 7 Undress Me Now
  8. 8 Way Beyond
  9. 9 Women Lose Weight (feat. Slick Rick)
  10. 10 Get Along (feat. Pace Won)
  11. 11 Public Displays of Affection
  12. 12 The Great London Traffic Warden Massacre
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Morcheeba Primary Artist
Slick Rick Vocals
Miles Bould Percussion
Debbie Cole Flute
Michael Dove Vocals, Background Vocals
Steve Gordon Bass
Richard Harrison Bass
Nick Ingman Conductor
Pino Palladino Bass
Miriam Stockley Vocals, Background Vocals
Danny Goldman Keyboards
Kurt Wagner Vocals
Paul Godfrey Percussion, scratching, Background Vocals, Track Performer
Ross Godfrey Bass, Guitar, Harmonica, Harpsichord, Keyboards, Background Vocals, Track Performer, Charango, tiple, Analogue Synthesizer
Tom Hodges Harmonica, Baritone Saxophone, Bass Harmonica
Chris Harrison Background Vocals
Graeme Kyle Background Vocals
Peggi Gayle Background Vocals
Pacewon Vocals
Ruth Hammond Flute, Saxophone
Wyndham Wallace Background Vocals
Nathan Beazer Background Vocals
Brendan Coyle Background Vocals
Donald Gamble Percussion
Samantha Rowe Cello
Thomas Haimovici Background Vocals
Christian Merry Background Vocals
Dan Goldman Bass, Keyboards
Pace Won Vocals
Technical Credits
Slick Rick Composer
Banzai Engineer
Nick Ingman Composer, Orchestration, Orchestral Arrangements
Peter Norris Programming, Producer, Engineer
Kurt Wagner Composer
Paul Godfrey Arranger, Composer, beats
Ross Godfrey Arranger, Composer
Skye Edwards Composer
Adam Brown Engineer
Miles Showell Mastering
Chris Harrison Engineer
Chris "Pitta" Harrison Engineer, beats
Tim Berry Artwork
Super Jupiter Engineer, beats
The Godfrey Brothers Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    mature, polished, catchy

    Slick written tunes. Every track has some catch to it and wasn't hastily done. I'm hooked on Moorcheba and all their past albums, their first wasn't as good as this and they are improving with each one, but do have to admit Big Calm is their best.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This is their best yet

    Reviewing this album in a few words cannot do it justice - just go and buy it and you will see first-hand how brilliant it is.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Cool, Slinky and laid back

    This is a very cool, lyrically challenging laid back album. Whilst it may not make you want to stomp your feet up and down, just listen to this song late at night with the curtains closed and I guarantee, you will be enlightened by the delicious beats and soothing vocals

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews