Morcheeba

Dive Deep

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Longtime Morcheeba fans who found their sunshine bright album The Antidote a complete disappointment couldn't ask for a better follow-up than Dive Deep. Making that other unloved effort seem like a mislabeled side project, Dive Deep finds multi-instrumentalists the Godfrey brothers returning to the murky, moody kind of downtempo and trip-hop of their early days, just without original vocalist Skye Edwards, or for that matter, Antidote's vocalist Daisy Martey. Instead, they go about it Zero 7 style, utilizing a series of guest vocalists including smooth rapper Cool Calm Pete, alternative singer/songwriter Thomas Dybdahl, and most surprisingly, pop/rock veteran Judie Tzuke, who brings a welcome, folk-tinged sound that serves to connect the dots here between soft rock and Portishead. Tzuke's "Enjoy the Ride" and "Blue Chair" are the mellow highlights to curl up with, while Dybdahl's trilogy of songs -- "Riverbed," "Sleep on It Tonight," and "Washed Away" -- finds his poetic musings on all things melancholy perfectly packaged in Morcheeba's lazy sway. Special mention goes to newcomer Bradley Burgess who delivers "Run Honey Run" with all the hippie grace this John Martyn cover deserves. If Burt Bacharach and the bedazzling side of '60s rock influenced The Antidote, Martyn, Bert Jansch, and Fred Neil are the more earthy and literate artists brought to mind by Dive Deep. The change does the Godfrey brothers' music good, bringing it more in line with the Morcheeba name and the masterful good songs/good vibes combination that made their first two full-lengths so haunting.

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