Review: Heather Metherell
EMERGING as part of the noughty's chill out movement was a mixed
blessing for Goldfrapp. Being sampled on numerous television adverts
and music compilations gave them commercial success, but it also
lumped them in the unfortunate category of 'dinner party music
Perhaps it was this that gave them the motivation to break out
of the mould, with their new album Black Cherry?
Louder, sexier and darker, though equally as theatrical as their
debut, Felt Mountain, this new material shows, without
a doubt, that Goldfrapp is one of the most interesting bands around.
They have certainly come a long way since Felt Mountain,
and are showing us once again, that they can produce truly beautiful,
unique and intelligent music.
Evidence of Will Gregory's history in film score composition
is apparent throughout, as this is music that has been carefully
considered and produced. It is, as always, Alison Goldfrapp who
really steals the show; and it's great to see an interesting female
artist who's not afraid to push some musical boundaries.
As much as Felt Mountain was evocative of the sweeping
landscapes and gorgeous countryside that encircled the bungalow
in which it was produced, Black Cherry is all about neon
lights, and the buzz of city life that surrounded the duo during
its 12 month long creation.
The current single, Train, is a perfect example of this,
with its dirty bass line and mechanical beat.
There's much fun to be had with the more energetic tracks, such
as Strict Machine, which is a glam rock/disco fusion, with
a bouncing bass line and breathy vocals.
Another highlight is Twist, which has some great vocal
layering, a powerful beat and raunchy lyrics that should be a
hit on any dance floor.
The strangely titled track Hairy Trees, is both fantastic
and magical. Combining beautiful soaring strings, reminiscent
of John Barry's early Bond music, and Alison's 'lighter than air'
vocals, this is a lullaby that could send even the most enduring
insomniac to sleep.
The real gem of the album is the title track, Black Cherry;
an understated, sexy song, with a simple, stunning melody supported
by Goldfrapp's signature strings. The lyrics speak of intense,
obsessive love; lyrics such as "all my world in one grain
of sand, and you own it," are sung with real passion
This is a stunning album, full of delicious, seductive music.
It also shows that Goldfrapp are not afraid of maturing and developing
Black Cherry definitely has to be one of the best albums
of the year so far.