A mélange of R&B convention and electronic wizardry designed for dance-floor fun, this is trip-hop for a summer's day. The stylistic shenanigans that have always been the focus of the music are still here, but this time they play along with the songs, rather than carry them. Cameos by cult hip-hoppers Biz Markie and Bahamadia make Fragments of Freedom Morcheeba's most listener-friendly record, and songs such as "World Looking In" (with bluesy slide guitar) and the loopy title tune are among its most musically diverse offerings. Fragments of Freedom doesn't come near any of the golden opuses of trip-hop (Tricky's Maxinquaye or Portishead's self-titled debut), but it does bring the played-out genre into a brand new world -- one filled with sunshine and playful pop.
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