For the uninitiated, Goldfrapp is an English electro outfit fronted by the eponymous Alison Goldfrapp, who have been around since 1999, with several peaks and troughs experienced along the way.
Appreciated more in their native UK and throughout Europe, Goldfrapp have released an album, Silver Eye, that signals another change in direction, from the more laidback, even semi-acoustic works of the past few years, to one that delves into their heralded back catalogue (the peaks).The term electro is, ultimately, meaningless. There is little music made today that doesn’t contain some element of synths, beats etc. The sound that may be still be associated with Gary Numan, Kraftwerk and the Human League is now ubiquitous; you’ll even hear it on a Katy Perry hit, should you ever wish to punish yourself.
But Goldfrapp are a breed apart. They have a cinematic quality, and an understanding of what makes the perfect pop song. As for the later quality, it seems only just that they soundtrack a future James Bond film. Their influence is tangible, and I can detect some notable touches in Lorde’s just-out second album, praise indeed for the London-based duo.
The album has a two moods feel: side one is the more upbeat, shake it all about disposition, beginning with the atmospheric ‘Anymore’, which is heavy with synth sounds against a steady, pulsating beat. It’s followed by ‘Systemagic’, which is two parts ABBA and three parts Kraftwerk, and the kind of tune you would want to have on the iPod for a long plane journey.
In a similar disco-meets-pop-gold vein is ‘Become The One’, which was inspired by a documentary about transgender children.
The second side (I’m listening on vinyl) sees Goldfrapp in more restrained mood, except for ‘Everything Is Never Enough’, a word of warning for those that live today with no thought for tomorrow, by which time it will be too late: “Insatiable perfect neon stranger/ All the money you need/ Watching nature on my screensaver/ In a wasteland”.
I think that is recommendation enough.
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