After working with live musicians on their previous album, Things to Make and Do (2000), Moloko returned to electronic territory with this album, although the previous album's organic influences remains, as seen on "Familiar Feeling" and "Over & Over".
At the time of its release, the long-term romantic partnership between group members Róisín Murphy and Mark Brydon had dissolved, setting the stage for Murphy's 2005 solo album, Ruby Blue. Statues is composed of material which describes the various emotional milestones in a romantic relationship, or rather as it comes apart. Moloko toured Europe extensively to promote the album and disbanded shortly thereafter.
"Come On" and "Statues"
"Come On" suggests the diminishing sex life of a tense pairing ("Do you remember the way we danced? I wish I could forget it"). The song "Statues" implies isolation in the absence of a distant or departed lover ("If all the statues in the world would turn to flesh [...] would they be kind enough to comfort me?"). With its evident theme of dissolving romance, Statues launched a debate among fans as to whether the songs were about the end of Brydon and Murphy's romantic relationship. Murphy later commented on this on her official forum: "[A]s regards my long and fruitfull [sic] relationship with Mark, your[sic] right its[sic] all there to read in the records we made so i[sic] don't need to tell you!"
The opening track, "Familiar Feeling", is an upbeat remembrance stated as one lover trying to convince the other that the relationship was always meant to be, and it should not be in jeopardy because of jealousy and mistrust. The song is elaborately arranged with hints of both Latin and Irish folk music. Brydon's lyrical bass guitar playing can be heard trailing Murphy's lead vocal in the song's bridge.
"Over & Over"
The closing track, "Over & Over", assures the audience that the pairing (in the story) has indeed dissolved, and is among the most seriously stated of Moloko's love songs. It has a lyrical yet simple, winding acoustic guitar line (which echoes in the bass line) and plaintive lyrics such as "Can't imagine where you are, you are all I've ever seen". Moloko have said that they were aiming high on "Over & Over", claiming it took two weeks of work to score just the strings for it. Brydon later said, "There was no compromise with 'Over & Over'...We all felt it should be allowed to be what it is."
Another track appearing to be from this period, initially titled "Emotional Bankruptcy", was retitled "Bankrupt Emotionally" for its appearance on the 2006 greatest hits collection Catalogue.
In contrast to the tragic view of love on Statues, the song "Take My Hand", a relatively upbeat love song, was an outtake. The song had a prominent brass scoring, jazz-funk bass line and wistful piano, as well as a confident multi-tracked delivery by Murphy that displays her extraordinary vocal technique. "Take My Hand" is available as a B-side to "Forever More", and was donated to War Child to help the charity raise money for children affected by war.