Written during the same recording sessions, Take Her Up To Monto is the sibling album to Róisín Murphy's Hairless Toys released in 2015. Bound by birth, both were concocted by Murphy and her touring musical director, Eddie Stevens, in their first experience of writing songs together. While the ease of their alchemy was explicit from the idiosyncratic character of Hairless Toys, their second effort brings their writing to different extremes.

The album hits its stride with the sinuous opener 'Mastermind', as the pair embark on a record that proves impossible to wrap a genre around. There's a playful, vital energy across its nine songs as they use structure with abandon - allowing the songs to be what they want to be. The proggy lead-single 'Ten Miles High' echoes as an artistic mantra of escaping the trappings of everyday life in her work, in favour of higher thought, new perspectives and a refusal to be restrained by the times we live in.

At the heart of Take Her Up To Monto lies a concentrated poeticism. Murphy's lyrics, rich in imagery, speak of existential questioning, pained observations of former relationships and features some sobering conclusions. 'Thoughts Wasted' is ambitiously jarring; beginning as a slow jam before taking off into a Mary Poppins soundtrack on speed and then breaking off completely into a spoken recital about the residual resentment of an old relationship. It could be the sequel to Overpowered's ode to a jealous lover found in 'Checkin' On Me', in which case, there is a compelling shift in perspective. The album's narrative is adult and abstract, written from experience that seizes the complex and uncertain nature of people and relationships, concluding that "humans are fucked".

Monto has a slow reveal in its own complexities where it arguably finds its most penetrating moments in its quieter corners. The shadowy trance on 'Nervous Sleep' is adrift in consciousness as Murphy earnestly enquires "What about me?" over a feverish rhythm. Such subtle moments in which she's on the fringes of her own thoughts, she channels the fractious thoughts which consume and torment underneath. Elsewhere, the tear-doused 'Sitting And Counting' and bittersweet 'Whatever' are deeply affecting.

Róisín Murphy's fourth solo record is an unfurled and uncompromising vision. Take Her Up To Monto has a more diverse range and restless thrust compared to Hairless Toys. She invites listeners further into her internal world, while posing more questions than before. The themes and relationships within are sprawling, engaging and, ultimately, relatable. In pushing her own boundary as a writer, she has sharpened her writing to a fine point that pulls from life experience, unbridled emotion, theatricality and a sense of humour. Murphy has her own style, but more crucially, she has her own substance.