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CMJ '08: Murphy's Law

Roisin After being shut out of Broken Social Scene's show at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple on Friday night, I decided to check out Irish singer Roisin Murphy across town at the Mansion. Her 2007 album "Overpowered" was overlooked by most critics, but featured some of the best pop cuts of the year. Part of the fun of the show had nothing to do with Murphy: the Mansion, with its sparkling chandeliers, neon lights and mile-long bar, provided the perfect posh atmosphere for the event.

Murphy was making her U.S. solo debut, but the packed Mansion gave her a superstar's ovation when she took the stage, decked out in a shimmering black coat and futuristic sunglasses. It would be one of many costumes that Murphy would sport during the show, and while some were more gimmicky than glamorous, the audience ate up her deliciously loud fashion selections.

Sharing the stage alongside two backup singers and a full band, Murphy ran through most of "Overpowered" with a notable air of confidence. Almost everything worked, from the stuttering jam "You Know Me Better" to album centerpiece "Let Me Know," which featured a gorgeous, elongated ending. Even the cheesy choreography Murphy incorporated with the backup singers felt appropriate. She exhibited a classiness that was refreshing to see in a female pop star, and the Mansion was the perfect home to her brand of austere dance music. -- Jason Lipshutz

October 26, 2008 in CMJ | Permalink


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