|Reviews & Recommendations
Alison Goldfrapp (vocals, keyboards)
Will Gregory (music, synth)
"Alison Goldfrapp started out as lead singer of various punk and goth bands including Demented Children and Waste Product while still at Alton College in Alton, Hampshire, England. It was while still at Middlesex University that Goldfrapp began to explore her creative abilities. She quickly gained a reputation as a creative talent with a highly distinctive voice, resulting in guest appearances on multiple albums while still at college. She performed on Orbital's album 'Snivilisation' in 1994, and a year later did the same on her friend Tricky's debut album 'Maxinquaye' before deciding to pursue a solo career of her own. As Goldfrapp began to write her own music, her demos were passed on to film score composer Will Gregory by a few of her friends. (...) In 1999 the two decided to form a duo, having the same musical tastes and interests, performing under Alison's last name. The same year they signed a major record deal with London based Mute Records."
2000: Felt Mountain
"... Easily eclipsing Goldfrapp's numerous former employers and collaborators, Orbital and Tricky included, the English vocalist and composer/arranger/ keyboardist Will Gregory lay claim to an epic sonic panorama informed by film soundtracks, classical music, and cabaret songs. (...) The album's copiously tasteful electronics and Gregory's lush string and horn arrangements provide an expert balance of chilly and warm, and are a fitting backdrop for Goldfrapp's voice, a remarkable instrument that can make the words brown paper bag seem sexy. (She's an accomplished whistler, too.) Goldfrapp's lyrical approach tends toward the dreamy, even as her imagery seeps between the cracks of consciousness, evoking an endless succession of starry nights in which beauty and danger intermingle freely and things are never necessarily what they seem to be. (...) Ultimately, Felt Mountain's greatest strength lies in the fact that it succeeds in being unabashedly beautiful, relentlessly romantic, and overwhelmingly seductive..."
-- Rod Smith, citypages.com, 10/00
2003: Black Cherry
"... Much of the material on 'Black Cherry' resonates with the image change. Although it shows some continuity with 'Felt Mountain', for the most part Goldfrapp abandons the previous album's chilled out, theatrical atmospherics and instead immerses herself and Will Gregory (the other half of this duo) in some rather sleazy, bumping-and-grinding electro-pop. This change hasn't happened overnight - live performances after 'Felt Mountain' more than hinted at a new direction, particularly with audiences being treated to rousing renditions of Olivia Newton-John's Physical. Surprisingly enough, this isn't such a bad idea. Black Cherry is more Cabaret Voltaire than Weimar cabaret. However, while Goldfrapp's new sound calls to mind the likes of The Human League, Donna Summer, and Soft Cell, it's more than the sum of those parts and benefits from much heavier beats than many of its apparent influences. "
-- Wilson Neate, dustedmagazine.com, 7/03
"It's rare that an artist can completely reinvent herself as seamlessly and convincingly as Alison Goldfrapp has, from the spacey trip-hop chanteuse of her debut 'Felt Mountain' to the future-disco dancing queen of 2003's 'Black Cherry'. On her junior effort with producer Will Gregory, however, Alison doesn't make as strident a leap. Supernature picks up where its disco-pop predecessor left off, augmenting the remaining traces of Felt Mountain's ambience with swathes of glam-rock and stabs of tinny new wave. Rampant comparisons to Debbie Harry aren't without merit; it's impossible to deny the obvious musical lineage after listening to Fly Me Away, the bouncy Satin Chic, and the trendy Number 1 immediately following Blondie's new 'Greatest Hits' collection'Supernature' is the comeback album Blondie has yet to make. (...) And Ride A White Horse is the kind of song that, if only in my fantasies, could make Americans start listening to dance music again. "
-- Sal Cinquemani, Slant Magazine, 06
2006: We Are Glitter
"As if Goldfrapp's album tracks weren't rotated enough, Supernature has been diced and rehashed into a collection to renew ass-shaking on the club floor. Everything old is new again, although 'Supernature' isn't exactly old. (...) Not every mix on this album is meant for the dance floor, however. Satin Chic gets a minimalist treatment from The Shortwave Set and a space-age indie-rock break by The Flaming Lips. Still, one gets what one would expect when the names T.Raumschmiere and Benny Benassi are credited, so there's no shortage of club appeal. This doesn't mean they're all done well -- Mum brings some serious sleepytime to You Never Know and Number 1, not to mention boringly generic treatments by C2 and Ewan Pearson -- but that's par for the course in the world of remix albums. Still, there are some winners on 'We Are Glitter': Benassi's Ooh La La and Fk-Ek's Ride a White Horse are refreshingly fun, and DFA does an interesting take on Slide In. Nothing tops the originals in the slightest and nothing really stands out as required club fare, although none of the songs are utterly ruined, either. It's simply a middle-of-the-road, fairly mediocre mix collection. Die-hards and DJs will likely find more appeal than the average person, who really isn't missing out on anything by skipping this disc. "
-- gloomchen, beyondthethreshold.insidepulse.com, 10/06
¼ 2008: Seventh Tree
Tracklisting: 1. Clowns 2. Little Bird 3. Happiness 4. Road To Somewhere 5. Eat Yourself 6. Some People 7. A&E; 8. Cologne Cerrone Houdini 9. Caravan Girl 10. Monster Love
"Goldfrapp, startled their earliest fans by shifting from the surrealistic elegance of their 2000 orchestral-pop debut Felt Mountain to a beat-heavy mid-decade run at the dance charts. With two hard-to-top electro-pop albums under their belts-- 2003's 'Black Cherry' and 2005's 'Supernature'-- it's safe to assume that Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory are perfectly happy with getting some closure on what they've accomplished in the last few years and are moving on to something else out of a feeling more substantial than impatience. It was unprecedented enough that a group which started out trafficking in cabaret eeriness and cinematic grandiosity would ease so naturally into club-pop, so it's not out of the question that dialing back to pastoral, folksy indie-electronica would unearth another side of a duo that was shaping up to be one of the decade's most versatile. So how could a group that's already established success with slow, lush ballads-- think 2000's Pilots, 2003's Forever, or 2005's You Never Know-- release an album filled with a whole bunch of uncompelling attempts at them? It could be because Goldfrapp's best songs, regardless of how downbeat they were, at least had something to grab the ear melodically, where most of the material on Seventh Tree focuses more on subtle, slow-moving ambience. This ambience is often so subtle and slow-moving it doesn't seem to go anywhere, and it coasts on some frothy sense of pleasantness that evaporates the moment the song ends. Like the bulk of the album, there's a certain beauty in opener Clowns, but it's an empty one-- more lullaby than pop song, it's symptomatic of what happens when you take all the grandeur out of big sweeping melodies."
-- Nate Patrin, pitchforkmedia.com, 2/08
2010: Head First
Tracklisting: 01.Rocket 02.Believer 03.Alive 04.Dreaming 05.Head First 06.Hunt 07.Shiny And Warm 08.I Wanna Life 09.Voice Thing
Release date: Mar 23, 2010
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