Sunday, March 14, 2010


I like it a lot, but don't love it.  Goldfrapp's fifth studio album Head First has been long anticipated and as usual, it it a beautiful and polished collection.  Is it as strong as their earlier work like Black Cherry and Supernature though?  Not quite. 

Goldfrapp take us on a trip down memory lane back in creating the nostalgia of the early '80s. This seems to be where a lot of the artists I love have headed of late, including another brilliant male/female duo The Bird and The Bee's forthcoming Hall & Oates tribute album.  Although completely unexpected, it should be noted that this UK duo have always prided themselves on a sound that is familiar.  It is Will Gregory's precise production alongside Allison Goldfrapp's ethereal vocals and high-flying melodies which keep their fans loyal.  

Head First is an uncharacteristically "happy" album, leading us to ask the question of whether or not the duo were on Adderall or not.  First single Rocket, featured here previously, is fantastic in its not-so-subtle nod to soft rock legends JourneyAlive which features production by the outstanding Richard X, does exactly what it sets out to do, getting you up on your feet; Allison does some fantastic vocal work in the backing harmonies. using that range of hers completely. Dreaming is all sorts of electro-marvelous, sounding like something from the Yaz catalogue, but again it is Allison's strong sense of individuality which makes the track unmistakably GoldfrappShiny and Warm features a bit of that moodiness we have heard on earlier tracks like Ooh La La, making it somewhat of a requirement for any of their albums in order to be complete.   I Wanna Life is also great, fitting in thematically with the rest of the album - soaring melodies, throbbing basslines and landscapes painted with brushes of synth.  Voicething rounds out the album with Allison's improvised and layered vocals, which although interesting, leads me to wonder whether or not the duo had been under time constraints to complete the project or simply tapped-out for ideas. 

Either way, an album of nine tracks is just perfect as we are left with whet appetites.  Head First hits stores March 22, 2010 in Europe and the following day in North America.  Grade: A-

Listen to Goldfrapp's Dreaming in full below (audio content owned by EMI):

No comments:

Post a Comment