First Impressions: Pop Goes MPHO

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

There are times where you just need some tunes with an injection of caffeine and an artist who is spunky enough to carry all of it on her rhinestone covered shoulders. This is where British singer/floacist MPHO comes into the party and livens it up with her arsenal of pop n' R&B goodies. After being wowed by her infectious debut number, "Box 'N Locks", anticipation for the "brown girl from Brixton" debut, Pop Art raised and it of course lives up the hype. Vibrant and colorful musical backdrops grace this 11 song set, and for those who like a little elixir of eclectic sounds in their musical forte, MPHO manages have each song sound different from the last.

In some ways, I'm getting a flashback as MPHO's delivery is akin to that of 80's and 90's rapper/singer, Neneh Cherry, and the vibes of this comparison radiate stronger than the Beyonce connection the British press are getting from the singer. MPHO shares Cherry's ability to intertwine smooth R&B with a little funk and a dab of rock and kneed it all together with some hip-hop elements, just like what Cherry achieved on her 1989 debut record, Raw Like Sushi. Even 20 years later, the combo plate of sounds is still fresh for MPHO and her Pop Art arsenal.

Pop Art begins with the crunchy, "See Me Now", which moody yet punchy on demand, possibly due to the procession of percussion tapping behind it. "Fix Ya Face" bounces on stark synth work while in contrast, "Man Who Got Away" glides on strumming guitars and shows MPHO in a tender groove. Standout, "Morning After" coasts on a 70's smooth rock synth beat, as the song details the afterglow of the 'night before' in a jubilant and optimistic fashion. The 80's blips and bleeps remain a staple sound on Pop Art, and it continues with "Paranoid Type", which possesses an electrifying synth breakdown before it dives into the earnest chorus and bluesy hip-hop groove of "S.P.A.C.E Man" is an atmospheric stunner, which background story comes from MPHO's personal experiences of an ex-boyfriend addicted to drugs. The skittish "Last Supper" tumbles on hip-hop themes with its call n' response and angsty attitude.

Spiked with spunk, funk and fun, MPHO has got a good thing going on with her Pop Art, and it's worth a spot in your music gallery.

Rating: 9.7/10

Release Date: October 19, 2009

Morning After

Paranoid Type

S.P.A.C.E. Man


  1. I love this album.

    I've liked MPHO since she was known as Mpho Skeef, I bought some music with her on it, wow, a few years back now. So it's nice to finally see her getting some love.

    No doubt, this is an amazing album worth checking out.

  2. I like this! I want her album.


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