An amalgamation of discotheque bounciness and airy trip-hop, Goldfrapp have taken a unique journey in the 4 years since their 2001 debut with Felt Mountain, an album evoking the emotional space of European cinema soundtracks. Black Cherry (2003) maintained the trip-hop sound, but infused club accessibility to the sound, relying heavily on driving beats and 70’s sci-fi sound effects. Now, with the release of the Number 1 EP on November 1st, Goldfrapp will be taking another step forward in their musical evolution, scaling back the layers and concentrating on solid works of sleek and sexy robopop.
Alison Goldfrapp’s voice is difficult to pin down. Occasionally soaring, sometimes discreet, but always appropriate, her vocals come across as more than just a frontrunner for the music. “Ultimately the voice is an instrument, so you can use it as a texture or put it into the foreground and make it into something distinct,” she says in the UK Edition.
On the new single “Number 1,” Alison holds back and works the reins with subtle seduction, creating an addictive hook. This appears to be the new direction for Alison and Will Gregory, the production end of the duo. “Beautiful” and “All Night Operator” harken back to the sound of Black Cherry, but “Ooh La La” and “Number 1” are concentrated works, easily digestible and hypnotic with pop sensibility.
By managing to defy definition, Goldfrapp aren’t limited to comparisons. They aren’t dark and moody like Portishead or Tricky, nor are they a Kylie Minogue or (recent) Madonna copycat. Goldfrapp are taking the difficult route and attempting to shake things up. Alison tells The Daily Telegraph, “When we started, everyone was very serious about the music, but we wanted to put the latex on because music is about having a laugh and getting down. Glam-rock inspired us, but you don’t see that spirit now.” This mentality will hopefully keep their star rising. If the recent appearance of Supernature at number 2 on the U.K. charts is any indication, they should be at the top of their game soon.
The full length album, Supernature, will be available in the U.S. March 7th, 2006
For videos, tour dates, news, and graphics, check out Goldfrapp’s site.
If you’re in New York on December 5th, be sure to check them out live at the Nokia theatre.
This has been syndicated to Advance.net, a place affiliated with about 10 newspapers around the country.