Tag Archives: Goldfrapp

Felt Mountain

This past Saturday was Record Store Day! Did you get anything? I did!

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The Neko Case LP is limited edition red vinyl and it’s the first time it’s been released on vinyl in over 5 years! Meanwhile, the Goldfrapp LP I got was so exclusive, it’s the first time it’s EVER been released on vinyl in the US and I got one of 4,000 pressings! I was extremely happy to get both of these.

I’ve already talked about Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, so today I’m going to talk about Felt Mountain! This is Goldfrapp’s first album – and it was my first Goldfrapp album. I mentioned before how I was introduced to it via a college roommate. I was hooked the moment I heard the haunting whistle that introduces “Lovely Head.” It still gives me the chills when I hear it. It’s got a very classic Hollywood noir sound to it, a theme which pretty much describes the entire album, but it’s touched with more modern, alien electronic flavors too. This song remains one of my favorites for its haunting beauty. Allison is channeling Marlene Dietrich for sure, but she becomes distinctly Goldfrapp when she sings through a vocal processor at about 1:15. There’s that alienness I mentioned before.

A lot of the lonely, haunted sounds on this album come from the fact that Goldfrapp recorded and produced this album in a bungalow in the English countryside. Allison spent a lot of time alone there, surrounded by mice and spiders. The experience really got under her skin and into her brain, and that’s something that comes through in a way that does the same for you. It’s beautiful but eerie and uneasy too. There’s a touch of danger at times – shadowy figures seen at the edge of your vision, a strange noise in the dark, a light brush against your skin when there’s no one there, a chill running down your spine for no discernible reason.

Being their first album, Felt Mountain isn’t perfect. The next track “Paper Bag,” while nice, is kind of a let down after the amazing track that precedes it. There are some interesting sounds going on, and Allison’s voice is seductive and soothing, but it’s not a stand out track.

“Human” makes up for it. The production on this track is just GREAT. It’s a perfect fusion of classic orchestral sounds and electronic noise. It’s absolutely seductive, even though the lyrics are submissive. It’s begging and full of desire. It’s one of Goldfrapp’s best. I can practically hear it in a Bond film. I’m actually surprised it didn’t make it on their greatest hits album, The Singles, even if they would go on to make better songs.

“Pilots” I think is one of the best of the “quiet” tracks on this album. It’s a very classy and jazzy tune and I like the way that works here. It almost reminds me of a Sinatra song, though I can’t think of which one. There’s another round of singing through the vocal processor that let’s you know it’s definitely Golfrapp. The whole track feels like floating on a cloud – appropriate considering the lyrics and title!

“Deer Stop” is the other great “quiet” track. I can hardly understand the lyrics, but somehow that doesn’t matter here. It’s all about the sound of it. And it sounds like it was recorded in the dark, maybe with a dying flashlight in hand. Maybe you thought you saw the light reflected in pairs of eyes peering out from between the trees, but then they’re gone when you turn back to look for them.

The following two songs are the title track “Felt Mountain” and “Oompa Radar,” both instrumentals with Allison lightly singing nothing over strange noises. The first track is more playful and whimsical. The second is sinister and carnivalesque. Both seem like they could fit into the soundtracks of two very different movies – and yet they fit together on this album wonderfully. The singing is kept to a minimum, which allows you to take them in as aural landscapes. They are cinematic in a way that much of the rest of Felt Mountain is.

Next we come to “Utopia” which is really the one that became the hit off this album. I’ve heard it used in commercials for at least two TV shows in the last several years, so it can be said that it has staying power for sure. It’s the most dramatic track off this album, both in lyrics and in sound. It almost doesn’t belong though. Where the rest of the album has an older, classical sound, “Utopia” seems like it was beamed down by aliens or sent back in time by a future civilization. It’s beautiful, overwhelmingly so, and I think I can see why it’s the one that’s lived the longest. It’s probably the best predictor of the direction Goldfrapp’s sound would head in future endeavors.

The album fades out with “Horse Tears,” which for me is another track that is kind of a let down, seeing as how it follows a much better one. Honestly, “Utopia” could have been the closer, but I guess I can see why they chose this one. It brings the album back full circle to its original lonely, noir themes. Even though it uses a bit of that vocal processor, it just doesn’t do much to save the song. The violin is nice – it punctuates the sadness of this song – but mixed in with everything else going on, it’s all a bit overdone.

Though Felt Mountain has a special place in my heart, it is not a good beginner’s Goldfrapp album! I would not recommend this to a first-time listener! This is one for the more advanced Goldfrapp listener. It’s really great at showing how far they’ve come and seeing what still influences them. Felt Mountain is good, and it even has some SPECTACULAR tracks, but they got so much better. For me, I’m still excited to have this one on vinyl! It’s going to sound great.

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Top 10 – Goldfrapp

Because I had my music on shuffle on Friday and kept skipping songs to hear Goldfrapp instead of just bringing up Goldfrapp specifically, here are my top 10 favorite Goldfrapp songs! (In no particular order, as per usual…)

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1) Lovely Head

Ahh, “Lovely Head.” The very first Goldfrapp song I ever heard. It had me hypnotized and hooked from that very first haunting whistle. My junior year college roommate had Felt Mountain and played it occasionally. This is the first track on that album. I’ll never forget the chills it gave me when I was walking down the hallway toward our room (she had the door propped open) and I heard that whistle floating down the hallway. This song still makes me swoon when I hear it.

2) Strict Machine

Oh, geez, I really love this one so much. So sexy. Too sexy. Just, UGH. ARGH. Another one that makes me swoon. It really swallows me up and I just love blasting it when I’m in my car alone. It’s a very sex-positive BDSM-themed song. It makes me feel really confident, and likewise I am usually feeling very confident when I play it.

3) Ride A White Horse

Hahahaha, I have written about this song too many times, I think! Specifically, about the music video. Hmm, so what can I say about it that’s new? I guess I really like that the song is so confident and straightforward, both in the lyrics and in the sound. Allison just sounds so unfaltering and fierce in her delivery, even with her husky voice. It’s another one that, in turn, makes ME feel more confident.

4) Twist

Oh my gosh, this is kind of embarrassing because this song is about oral sex BUT I’M STILL ADMITTING THAT I LOVE IT. It’s another song that swallows me up and makes me swoon. (Goldfrapp has that affect on me in general.) There’s something innocent about it in its frankness though. She’s not ashamed to ask for it and describe just how she wants it to happen, and she doesn’t hold back. It’s so honest and that’s, well, sexy.

5) Drew

Oh, this song. Ohhhh, this song. This was the first single they released from their latest album and it made me so excited because it’s SO good. It’s honest in its sound. I don’t know if that makes sense. It just feels naturally…Goldfrapp. Haunting and beautiful and romantic and cinematic and intimate and tender. This song will forever be one of Goldfrapp’s greatest, to my ears.

6) Clowns

Ah, yes. The song Allison will bluntly state as being about breasts. Haha, well it is! But it’s about a lot more than that too. It’s really hard to make out what she’s singing about in the song because she sings in such a high pitch. Basically, the song is about her coming to terms with entering her 40’s and observing women on TV with breast implants and plastic surgery and asking herself if she really wants to be like them. I just adore how angelic she sounds.

7) Ooh La La

Another sexy song! So many of them! And, again, very bold and confident, as well as honest and straightforward about desire. No one needs to ask what “Ooh la la” is in this song or what it means. I like blasting this one too! All the layers of noise and vocals are fantastic. It comes together seamlessly and comes at you relentlessly. And it goes out with a bang. Perfect intro track for this album!

8) Winter Wonderland

I’ve written about this before! Yes, it’s a Christmas song, but sometimes I’ll listen to it outside of the month of December. Goldfrapp just performs it so wonderfully! It’s so characteristically in their style, it just feels like the kind of song you could listen to any time of the year.

9) Human

This song is so full of drama and flair, it feels like it ought to be in the scene of a noir film where a woman walks into the office of a detective and you hear the detective say as the narrator “I just knew she was trouble the moment she walked through the door.” It sounds like a song you would do the tango to. So intimate and hot and heavy. It’s absolutely seductive and otherworldly.

10) Utopia

This song sounds like it came out of a dream…Or it’s a song you would hear when you’re dreaming. It’s very sci-fi and ethereal. This comes not just from the lyrics but also from the weird electronic noises blending with the orchestral and, at times, operatic sounds. It plays with the idea of what an utopia really is and what it means. It’s also pretty heavily about obsession, and all that comes together very well in this song.

Well! It was harder to pick just 10 songs than I thought it would be! Here are some honorable mentions:

-Thea

-Cologne Cerrone Houdini

-Yellow Halo

-Lovely 2 C U

-Little Death

It was pretty tough leaving those off! Eagle-eyed Goldfrapp fans may notice I did not include any songs from Head First. Well…That may be a post for another day. I have complicated feelings about that album, but it should be clear that it is my least favorite. 😦 I’ll just set that aside for now though and revel in my favorite, favorite, FAVORITE Goldfrapp songs!

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Supernature

So the last time I talked about Goldfrapp, I talked about Black Cherry. And there was this interesting review of the album I came across that summarized it as “a soundtrack to excruciatingly banal seduction.” That review came from Pitchfork (ha) so take it with a grain of salt.

I admitted that it wasn’t their best (or worst) so what is their best? Personally, I feel like it’s a tie between Tales of Us and this week’s subject, Supernature. (It’s hard to pick one over the other because they’re so different. Apples to oranges, for sure, and I’m not just saying that.) If Black Cherry was an “excruciatingly banal seduction” then its follow up is certainly a more successful one. Supernature is a far superior album to its predecessor (which I still like!). Its sound is more consistent, more accessible, and overall, the production is just superb. The tracks flow from one to the next just perfectly.

We start with the FANTASTIC opener that is “Ooh La La,” the group’s first song to use an electric guitar. Which was definitely the right decision. It gives the song it’s rough, slightly dirty feel. This track is straight to the point. It’s simply seductive, through and through. There’s no question what Alison means when she croons “Switch me on/Turn me up.” Some of my favorite lines include “Teasing your poetry” and “A broken heel like a heart,” which I read somewhere that she wrote when she read about how Marilyn Monroe supposed broke one heel on every pair of shoes she owned so that when she walked, the swaying of her hips would be more pronounced. I would normally find a video like this one underwhelming (I’ve spoken before about my views on the music video as an art form) but I kind of enjoy the blend of disco fashion and glam rock stylings. Plus, Alison just looks so damn good. I do wish they had done more with it though.

“Lovely 2 C U” keeps up the dirty sound with more electric guitar. I love the distorted sound that comes in at about 2 minutes. Sooooo dirty. And I don’t mean dirty in a perverted way (well, maybe a little) but just…gritty. A dirty sound so in stark contrast to Alison’s clear, ringing vocals. Favorite lyrics: “The glittering lights of Hell/I’m missing sin.” Oh my, yes.

And how could I miss a chance to write yet again about “Ride a White Horse”??? GOD, I love this music video. I don’t know how anyone will ever make a better music video. I just go nuts when I think about it. It’s easily my favorite, and I’m including all of Björk’s work. I KNOW. Guh, anyway, what can I say that I haven’t said before? It’s a great track. I get pumped every time that opening beat comes on. Favorite lyrics: “I want blisters/You’re my leader” and “In the whirlpool/We’ll go deeper/In this world that’s/Getting cheaper.” I feel like the music video may be a nod to those last two lines.

So the next track is “You Never Know” and I feel like this was the song that was playing when I was driving my parents somewhere and they said she sounded like a mermaid. She does. She sounds like a siren and this song makes you feel like you won’t care if you drove your car off a cliff to reach her on the other side (the modern day equivalent to sailing your ship into the rocks, I guess). I love how it’s very stop and go in the beginning. It’s got this very steady rhythm that just picks you up and sways you back and forth. So graceful.

The album eases into “Just Let It Take U,” which is a nice respite. It’s like a song you would meditate to. Or post-coital snuggle to. I think both would be the same for a Goldfrapp fan. It’s heavenly and surreal. And yet it fits in with the theme-sound of the rest of the album. A soft electric beat pulses throughout, keeping you anchored to the song, as Alison croons dreamily.

I remember hearing “Fly Me Away” in a Target holiday-themed commercial. Kind of a weird place to use it, but I liked it enough at the time. It does have a wintery sound to it (in spite of the “Miles and miles of sun” line). It’s also very playful, happy, and innocent, even with Alison’s breathy vocals.

“Slide In” is probably the most on-the-nose track. Well, second to “Ooh La La,” considering how forward THAT one was. But read that title again. “Slide In” sounds like something that would have been on Black Cherry. I love the way the song stretches out every time she sings “Sliiiide in.” In general, I just love songs that manage to aurally match the lyrics, and this song does it!

“Koko” is probably my least favorite track on this album. Which isn’t to say I don’t like it. It just doesn’t do much for me. It’s still a well-rounded, well-produced track, so I’ll give it that!

“Satin Chic” was described by Goldfrapp as being their favorite track off of this album. I like it a lot too! The honky-tonk piano fits perfectly with the song. It gives it this cabaret feel. I can’t get enough of it! Something about it reminds me of flappers. I can’t explain it. I guess it has something to do with that piano-cabaret feel. Favorite lyrics: “Lip gloss bold as blood.”

We get another respite before heading into the finale with “Time Out From The World,” a song that sounds just like that. It’s soft and dreamy, like “Just Let It Take U” but not as minimal. It’s got a foggy, yawning sound to it. Very soothing. Maybe not so post-coital though, as it features some sensual sighing toward the end. Favorite lyrics: “We changed the world, just you and I/I make a shrine for you.”

The closing track is “Number 1,” a very pleasant song full of longing with just a touch of sadness. Not boo-hoo-I’m-going-to-cry-this-is-so-tragic sadness, but it’s-a-shame-this-won’t-last-but-I’m-going-to-enjoy-it-anyway sadness. Because that’s what this song is about. With lines like “You’re my favorite moment/You’re my Saturday” and “Sunset only seconds/Just right then it’s gone,” Alison pines about loving someone while knowing (and accepting) that it probably won’t last forever. Maybe sad is the wrong word. Maybe it’s more like “Let’s just enjoy this while it lasts, yeah?” Carpe diem. The music video is clearly inspired by the line “I’m like a dog to get you.” (Also, how sexy is Alison acting like a dog? I’m including the part where she scratches her rear like a dog would, but with her hand instead of her foot.)

BONUS!!! If you have the bonus track version of the album, you get “Beautiful,” a lovely, seductive song. “Number 1” makes a better closing track, but this one is still a great add-on.

If you’re a first time Goldfrapp-listener, go for Supernature! It’s a super smart pop/electronica album (if you don’t like the slightly snootier, more specific labels of electroclash and synthpop, because that’s what it really is). I don’t like to use the phrase “It’s a thinking person’s [X]” for the reason that [X] is implied to be stupid, banal, and lesser. And it makes you sound like a pompous, stuck-up ass. But…if I WERE to use that phrase, I’d say Goldfrapp is a thinking person’s Madonna. I still like Madonna. I would just take Supernature or anything Goldfrapp in general over anything Madonna has (or possibly still will) put out any day. ANY DAY.

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Black Cherry

I found out recently that Goldfrapp will not be coming to the United States to tour for their most recent album Tales of UsThis was pretty devastating news for me. I might have had a chance to see them when they came to the US for the Head First World Tour back in 2010, but I either hadn’t gotten back into Goldfrapp at that time, or I wasn’t crazy about Head First (I think it was the latter). Anyway, in a fit of sadness, I listened to Goldfrapp pretty much nonstop in the following days.

I’m holding my breath for the day that Goldfrapp returns to the US (and LA). At least I got to see the recorded-live concert at a local theater. Until I get to see them live-live, I’ll keep returning to their albums. The one I’d like to return to this time is Black Cherry, their second studio album. Send the kids out of the room for this one, ’cause this album is all about sex. Let’s just go ahead and say this post (especially the videos) will be NSFW.

“Crystalline Green” is really the best song to start with. It starts very mellow but thumping, slowly gets bigger and grander till it’s just Allison making music with her voice, sounding like an angel, till finally there’s a release and the song winds down and fades out, making you feel warm and euphoric at the end of it all.

Which makes the grating, electroclashy “Train” feel like a delightful electric shock. It wakes you up in the right way. And it’s a song about LA, though not a very positive one. I still like that it captures the sleezy, nighttime face of the city though. I’m not going to say they’re wrong about any of it. The music video feels more Vegas than LA to me though. Still, I get what she’s saying about being disgusted by the wealthy lifestyle most people associate with the city while still being drawn into it.

“Black Cherry” isn’t my favorite track, but it still gets my attention for being about something very personal to Allison which she apparently doesn’t like to talk about. It’s slow and pining and a little bit sad. I don’t think it’s too hard to guess at the meaning, but the shroud surrounding the specific details make it alluring enough.

“Tiptoe” brings back the electroclash. The slight distortion over Allison’s vocals make it interesting to listen to. It works really, really well with the song. Even when the distortion lifts and we get to hear her hit the higher notes with clarity, it all meshes wonderfully with the electronic buzzing and lilting strings.

The name of the track “Deep Honey” sounds like a really good innuendo. The song is just as sultry as its name, especially with Allison’s near-indistinguishable whispers at the end, but truthfully it’s another sad and dreary (in a good way) track. It’s very much…languishing. It still manages to be sexy somehow.

Speaking of sexy, next up it’s “Hairy Trees,” another track hinting at innuendo. It doesn’t take long to guess what she’s getting at when she croons “Touch my garden.” The whole song is a soft and dreamy sex fantasy. Nothing too wild (oh, but believe me, we’ll get to that later). More like gentle love-making in the countryside. It sounds like something a teenage girl would dream about, but only a fully grown woman could write.

“Twist” is where things start to get truly naughty. There’s no beating around the bush though: this song is about cunnilingus. (Oh ho ho! See what I did there?) Specifically, the song is about the sexual fantasy Allison had when she was younger, which involved a boy who ran the waltzer (aka the Tilt-A-Whirl) at a fairground. “Twist,” then, works as a double entendre. The video goes with the carnival ride theme, but in a very grown up way.

It’s a one-two punch of sex with “Strict Machine” up next. Allison has said that the song inspiration came from a news article she’d read about lab rats in a neuroscience experiment, in which scientists stimulated the rats’ brains so that they felt joy when following commands. So, appropriately, what follows is an S&M club-type track. I read about it being compared to Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” and wow-wow-wow is that a great comparison! It’s got that same mesmerized, enamored, begging sound, especially in the chorus. The music video is absolutely hypnotic. It way it follows the sound and themes of the track is just brilliant.

“Forever” makes a great wind-down track. It’s a nice slow-burn after the previous two tracks. It’s a lot like “Black Cherry” but much less melancholy, even though it’s slow and soft too, almost sleepy, like you’re hearing it in a dream.

The closing track is “Slippage” (we get it!), a song which has no words, just more electronic noises and a lot of Allison moaning and groaning, sighing and screaming. It sounds very sexy when described like that, but it’s got a very dark sound. It’s like the type of song you’d hear at a seedy strip club at 3 in the morning. Which is still kind of sexy, in a way only Goldfrapp could manage.

Black Cherry isn’t my favorite Goldfrapp album, but it’s not my least favorite either. I think it was a great way to break the expectations set by their previous debut album, and it set the tone for their next one. And overall, let’s admit it, it’s a great sex album.

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Winter Wonderland

From silly to sultry!

This is absolutely one of my favorite versions of any Christmas song ever sung by anyone ever. It makes me wish Goldfrapp would do an entire Christmas album. Their sound is perfect for it. Sadly, this is the only one I know of that they recorded, and it was only released on a Starbucks Christmas album in 2008.

This song in particular has echoes of the styles exhibited in Felt Mountain and even some of the quieter songs on Black Cherry and Supernature. (The whistling at the end is VERY Felt Mountain.) It’s layered with delicate, airy, and crystalline sounds. Very evocative of a snow-white powdery “Winter Wonderland.”

Alison’s voice reminds me a lot of Marilyn Monroe’s, with its seductive breathiness, especially when she sighs “He’ll say ‘Are you married?’ We’ll say ‘No man.'” It makes her offer to conspire by the fire sound absolutely irresistible.

I live in sunny Los Angeles, California, but this song makes me imagine that it’s a freezing, snowy night outside and that I’m curled up by a warm fire with a cup of hot cocoa and someone with whom I want to conspire. Maybe I’m dreaming of that Goldfrapp Christmas album.

Enjoy the song, and Merry Christmas!

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Ride a White Horse

Last month, I wrote briefly about my general distaste for rock videos. I thought, then, that it would be a good idea to show exactly what I believe a music video can be by sharing one of my favorites, and that is Goldfrapp’s “Ride a White Horse.”

Why is it one of my favorites? Because it’s the opposite of you might expect a music video to be. Wait, what? I know what you’re thinking. After going on a mini rant about what a music video should be, I go on to praise a music video that defies that?

Well, sort of. I said that a music video is an art form to be explored. I think what some people might expect a music video to be is something glamorous and beautiful – After all, the artist is promoting themselves (and their song/single). Who wouldn’t want to look good?

But Goldfrapp chooses to be un-glamorous. Alison looks amazing, as always, but what’s the first image you see? A piece of toilet paper stuck to her heel. Very un-glamorous. Then she grabs a microphone made from a cardboard tube and wadded up tinfoil. How tawdry. A series of gross and disturbing images follows, including rotting food and dead fish. Later, she stomps on a dance floor made of cardboard and duct tape, eats a pizza topped with cigarette butts and bottle caps, and dances with dirt-smudged men who crawl out of a dumpster. SO UN-GLAMOROUS.

I generally don’t advise anyone to read YouTube comments, but I’ll share this little nugget of gold from roytheboy68 (I know) who proclaims:

This vid annoys me. Great song, she looks great and then she FUCKS IT UP with that imagery. Give me a break. It’s not “creative” or “edgy” it’s just annoying.

Exactly the point, dude. If this video makes your boner wilt like sad puppy dog’s tail, then Goldfrapp has succeeded. This video is not meant to turn anyone on – It’s meant to do the opposite. Yes, Goldfrapp looks GORGEOUS, but that is not the point. If you are distracted by worms in some kind of brownish juice and a man wrapped in toilet paper eating out of a garbage can – that IS the point.

The title of song refers to Bianca Jagger’s entrance into Studio 54 on a white horse, while the song itself is inspired by the disco era in general. Dancing at the disco (even in the modern sense) has a glamorous feeling to it, as one usually gets dressed and made up very fancy to go there. So Goldfrapp COULD have done a video that followed the theme if the song, but what fun would that be? That would be boring.

So to all the roytheboy68’s out there: I relish your disgust. And I’m sure Goldfrapp does too.

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Tales of Us

If there’s one word I would use to describe Goldfrapp’s latest album Tales of Us, it would be languishing — which, like the album itself, could be good or bad depending on your perspective.

Goldfrapp’s discography can generally be sorted into two genres: the glamorous, electronic albums (Black Cherry, Supernature, and Head First) and the softer, more sensual ones (Felt Mountain and Seventh Tree). Tales of Us falls into the latter category.

Looking back on all of them, I believe that this may be Goldfrapp’s best album to date. It’s just so…deliberate. Like they were waiting their entire careers to make it. It might be their magnum opus. Does that mean everyone will like it? No. If you loved Supernature but hated Seventh Tree then definitely not. But if you have an appreciation for their range, then I think you might enjoy this one too.

Tales of Us is not quite a concept album, but it does have a theme of sorts. Every song is the name of a person (except for the androgynous “Stranger”) and they each have their own story. Though each song is separate from the others, they flow from one to the next flawlessly. For me, hearing the album for the first time was like watching a movie made up of several vignettes.

The opening track, “Jo,” draws back the curtains with a flare of strings that fade into a hypnotic beat, establishing the tone of the album. The lyrics (as well as Alison’s sirenic vocals) balance perfectly with the music — neither one overpowers or upstages the other.

Next is “Annabel,” which was written about the novel of the same name and explores the same themes of gender identity. The whole album is very minimal, but I found this one to be especially so, allowing Alison’s vocals to really shine. The music video is worth watching as well:

“Drew” is a stand-out track. I think it’s the most cinematic of all of them. It starts out very quiet and builds up to this wonderful climax followed by a beautiful fade. I’m not sure who it’s about, but it definitely feels like Alison is reminiscing. The music video only seems to reinforce that:

“Ulla” has a particularly whimsical feel to it, while “Alvar” seems to tell a tragic story that happened in a faraway time and place. According to Goldfrapp, it was “inspired by a trip to Iceland and [her] obsession with water and myths and legends of Philomena Lee.”

“Thea” is the only song that departs from the overall sound of the album, being the closest you get to a dance track. It’s in a great spot: right in the middle. It’s got a very dark, pagan feel to it, and not just because of the lyrics.

“Simone” tells the story of a mother whose selfish daughter steals her lover from her. The way Alison sings it is perfect, especially the angry, tired, bitter whisper of the name at the end.

“Stranger” is one of the many Goldfrapp tracks that makes me wonder yet again why they haven’t been asked to do a song for a Bond film yet. Alison’s got such a sultry voice, and combined with the seductive lyrics and cinematic sounds, the song draws you in willingly.

Alison surprised me on the track “Laurel” – I don’t think I’ve ever heard her voice go so deep. It really fits the noir theme of the song, which was inspired by the novel “In a Lonely Place”.

The album ends with the uplifting sound of “Clay,” which ironically tells a rather tragic (and true) story. The song is inspired by two soldiers who met and fell in love during World War II. They vowed to reunite when it was over, but one of them died before he could get there. Alison actually found the story here.

Overall, I think I can say that Tales of Us is one of my favorite Goldfrapp albums. I don’t think I could readily recommend it to just anyone, not even another Goldfrapp fan, without knowing a bit more about their taste in music though. Think of this album as a quiet night in with a glass of wine by the fireplace, or the change of seasons from the golden leaves of autumn at dusk to the falling of snow at night. If that sort of imagery appeals to you, then I say go for it.

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