- Released: August 1, 2000
- Label: Rhino
Rolling Stone - 8/3/00, p.553.5 stars out of 5
- "...A set of resolutely bubbly songs that link vintage funk to disco to hip-hop to slurpy blues....rarely has the shallow end sounded so richly appointed..."
Entertainment Weekly - 8/4/00, p.86
"...Infectious tunes and pop-soul song craft that's more fun than the moody atmospherics of yesterday." - Rating: B
Uncut - 8/00, p.954.5 stars out of 5
- "...A delirious journey through every uplifting high point in your record collection given a definitively Morcheeba spin..."
Mixmag - 7/00, p.1664 out of 5
- "...Beautifully crafted pop music that extracts the singalong bits from most musical genres...and filters them through Skye's smoky vocals..."
CMJ - 8/21/00, p.23
"...An irresistible force in contemporary music."
NME (Magazine) - 7/29/00, p.277 out of 10
- "...It's Morcheeba on the edge, with attitude and at war. It's quite nice....an enduring monument to quiet goodness..."
- 1.World Looking In
- 2.Rome Wasn't Built in a Day
- 3.Love Is Rare
- 4.Let It Go
- 5.A Well Deserved Break
- 6.Love Sweet Love - (featuring Mr. Complex)
- 7.In the Hands of the Gods - (featuring Biz Markie)
- 8.Shallow End
- 9.Be Yourself
- 10.Coming Down Gently
- 11.Good Girl Down - (featuring Bahamadia)
- 12.Fragments of Freedom
Morcheeba: Skye (vocals); Ross Godfrey (guitar, Fender Rhodes piano, Wurlitzer piano, School piano, D6 Clavinet, Hammond C3 organ, bass, percussion, background vocals); Paul Godfrey (drums, programming, scratches, background vocals); Pete Norris (programming).
Additional personnel includes: Steve Bentley-Klein (violin, trumpet); Chris White (tenor & baritone saxophones); Steve Sidwell (trumpet); Dan Goldman (Fender Rhodes piano, Hammond C3 organ); Steve Gordon (bass); Martin Carling (drums); Derek Green, Dee Lewis, Weston Foster, Paul Jason Fredericks, Joy Rose, Dee Lewis (background vocals).
Producers: Paul Godfrey, Ross Godfrey, Pete Norris.
Morcheeba's newest album seems a willful attempt to drop the band's trip hop tag. FRAGMENTS OF FREEDOM is even more brazenly pop-oriented than its previous effort, BIG CALM. Expanding on that album's eclectic genre mixing and pop music polish, FRAGMENTS places even more emphasis on crafting gorgeous pop songs with an ear toward the idiosyncratic.
Morcheeba combines pop songwriting with an affinity for the upbeat horn arrangements of classic soul labels such as Stax, and a love of soundtracks and twisted synth noises. The track "Rome Wasn't Built in a Day," merges vocalist Skye's confident, soaring voice with triumphant horns and an upbeat rhythm. The production, while polished, maintains some of the rough edges of the band's previous efforts. Many of the songs showcase Morcheeba's affection for old school hip-hop rhythms and scratching, as shown by the two tracks featuring rappers Mr. Complex and Biz Markie. Markie's cameo on "In the Hands of the Gods" is a highlight, featuring his trademark human beatbox over a lazy funk groove. FRAGMENTS OF FREEDOM is Morcheeba's most accessible album to date.