Goldfrapp Albums Collection 2000-2010

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Goldfrapp - Albums Collection 2000-2010
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 1.61 Gb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320/Stereo) ~ 761 Mb (incl 5%) | Scans included
Genre: Electronic, Indietronica, Trip Hop, Downtempo, Leftfield, Future Jazz, Dream Pop | Time: 03:25:45

Collection includes: Felt Mountain (2000); Black Cherry (2003); Supernature (2005); Seventh Tree (2008); Head First (2010).

Bath, England's singer/composer/keyboardist Allison Goldfrapp began exploring music as part of her studies as a fine art painting major at Middlesex University, mixing sound, visuals, and performances in her installation pieces. While she was still in college, she appeared on her friend Tricky's 1995 debut, Maxinquaye, which led to appearances on albums from other cutting-edge electronic artists, including Orbital's Snivilisation and Add N to X's Avant Hard. By the late '90s, Goldfrapp began honing her own compositions; one of her friends passed some of her demos on to composer Will Gregory. Finding much in common in their musical tastes and approaches, the duo took Allison's surname as the name for their collaboration. After signing to Mute in 1999, Goldfrapp delivered their debut album, Felt Mountain, in fall 2000. Felt Mountain went on to nearly universal acclaim and spawned several singles, including the Utopia Genetically Enriched EP, which arrived in early 2001. After spending most of that year touring, Goldfrapp entered the studio in 2002 and returned with Black Cherry in spring 2003. The "Ooh La La" single and the full-length Supernature, both of which continued the disco and glam rock influences of the duo's previous album, were released in 2005; 2008's The Seventh Tree moved in a more acoustic, but equally lush direction. In 2009, the group released its score to Sam Taylor-Wood's film about John Lennon as a youth, Nowhere Boy, which they recorded with a full orchestra at Abbey Road Studios. The smoothly poppy Head First, led by the Italo-disco-inspired "Rocket," arrived in March 2010. Two years later, the Singles collection, which featured the previously unreleased songs "Yellow Halo" and "Melancholy Sky," summed up the group's career to date. Taking inspiration from classic authors and auteurs such as Patricia Highsmith, David Lynch, Ingmar Bergman, and Michelangelo Antonioni, sessions for their sixth studio album began in the first half of 2011. However, no new music from the duo appeared until mid-2013, when they undertook their first live dates in 18 months and released the irresistible, dream-like single "Drew." Arriving in September 2013, Tales of Us also included short films for five of its songs directed by Alison's partner, Lisa Gunning.

Biography by Heather Phares,

Felt Mountain (2000)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 290 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320/Stereo) ~ 151 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: Mute | # 9135-2 | Time: 00:39:36 | Scans included

Though her collaborations with Tricky, Orbital, and Add N To X focused on the sheer beauty and power of her singing, on her debut album Felt Mountain Allison Goldfrapp also explores more straightforward styles. Together with composer/multi-instrumentalist Will Gregory, Goldfrapp wraps her unearthly voice around songs that borrow from '60s pop, cabaret, folk, and electronica without sounding derivative or unfocused. From the sci-fi/spy film hybrids "Human" and "Lovely Head" to the title track's icy purity, the duo strikes a wide variety of poses, giving Felt Mountain a stylized, theatrical feel that never veers into campiness. Though longtime fans of Goldfrapp's voice may wish for more the exuberant, intoxicating side of her sound, lovelorn ballads like "Pilots," "Deer Stop," and "Horse's Tears" prove that she is equally able at carrying -- and writing -- more traditional tunes. A strange and beautiful mix of the romantic, eerie, and world-weary, Felt Mountain is one of 2000's most impressive debuts.

Review by Heather Phares,


01. Lovely Head (3:49)
02. Paper Bag (4:05)
03. Human (4:36)
04. Pilots (4:29)
05. Deer Stop (4:06)
06. Felt Mountain (4:17)
07. Oompa Radar (4:42)
08. Utopia (4:18)
09. Horse Tears (5:10)

Black Cherry (2003)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 325 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320/Stereo) ~ 132 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: Mute | # CDStumm196. 0724358350326 | Time: 00:42:59 | Scans included

In an admirably daring move, Goldfrapp's second album, Black Cherry, takes the duo in a very different direction than its instant-classic debut, Felt Mountain. Instead of just serving up more lush electronic torch songs -- which certainly would've been welcome -- Allison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory continue in the direction that their cover of Olivia Newton-John's "Physical" suggested, adding digital-sounding synths, electroclash-inspired drum machines, and more overtly sexual lyrics to their music. While their artistic risk-taking is commendable, unfortunately the same can't always be said for the results: Black Cherry sounds unbalanced, swinging between delicate, deceptively icy ballads and heavier, dance-inspired numbers without finding much of a happy medium between them. It's true that Felt Mountain's cinematic sweep owes a debt to the likes of Portishead, Björk, John Barry, and Shirley Bassey, but its mix of old-school glamour and more modern arrangements -- not to mention Allison Goldfrapp's charms as a futuristic siren, at once sensual and aloof -- were so compelling that the album felt fresh despite its roots. Black Cherry, however, is so dominated by its influences that all too often there doesn't seem to be enough room left in the music for Goldfrapp to really make the music its own. To be fair, most of the album isn't bad -- it's just not as consistently amazing as Felt Mountain. Songs like "Crystalline Green," "Tiptoe," and "Train" are among the better synth pop-inspired tracks, keeping enough of Goldfrapp's previous sound to give a good balance of familiarity and invention, but they don't really show off the expressive range of Goldfrapp's voice that well.

Not surprisingly, Black Cherry's highlights apply Felt Mountain's eloquent restraint to a slightly different sonic palette: The title track has a spacy allure thanks to the flute-like synths and lighter-than-air drums and strings, while "Deep Honey" mixes harpsichords, strings, and foreboding analog synths to ominously beautiful effect. "Hairy Trees" conjures a digitally pristine utopia (though it does include the rather embarrassing lyric "touch my garden") and "Forever" is one of the few tracks that really allows the pure tonal beauty of Goldfrapp's singing to shine through. Problems crop up on Black Cherry when the group works too hard to change its trademark sound: Despite its very danceable groove, "Twist" overplays its hand by adding too many buzzing synths and operatically orgasmic vocals (though, admittedly, they do show off Goldfrapp's impressive pipes better than some of the other songs). "Strict Machine" and "Slippage" share a similar fate, piling on dominatrix-y drum machines to give the songs a dance edge but eventually sound weighed down by them in the process. It's possible that Black Cherry disappoints because it tries to go in two different directions at once; it might have been a more coherent listening experience if it were either more ballad-based or featured more synth pop homages. As it stands, it's merely a not entirely successful experiment that suffers from its ambitions and in comparison to its brilliant predecessor. While some Felt Mountain fans may not have the patience for this album's radical departures, Black Cherry is still worthwhile for those willing to take some risks along with the group.

Review by Heather Phares,


01. Crystalline Green (4:28)
02. Train (4:11)
03. Black Cherry (4:56)
04. Tiptoe (5:10)
05. Deep Honey (4:01)
06. Hairy Trees (4:37)
07. Twist (3:32)
08. Strict Machine (3:51)
09. Forever (4:14)
10. Slippage (3:55)

Supernature (2005)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 364 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320/Stereo) ~ 156 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: Mute | # CDSTUMM250. 0094633552029 | Time: 00:43:17 | Scans included

It's something of a mystery why Mute Records waited until early 2006 to release Goldfrapp's third album, Supernature, in the U.S. After all, when it came out in the U.K. the previous summer, it made the duo into a bona fide chart success, to the point where the album's terrific lead single, "Ooh La La" -- on which Allison Goldfrapp channels Marc Bolan's dippy-cool vocals and lyrics over a shuffling, glam-tastic beat -- drew comparisons to former S Club 7 star Rachel Stevens' similarly glam-inspired hit "Some Girls." While Goldfrapp might balk at being called (or compared to) a pop act, it's undeniable that the duo has streamlined and simplified its sound since the baroque Felt Mountain days. It's also undeniable that Supernature is some of Goldfrapp's most accessible work. Coming across like the missing link between Black Cherry's sexy, sharp-edged dancefloor experiments and Felt Mountain's luxe soundscapes, Supernature sometimes combines the best elements from those two albums into something great, and at other times renders them into something surprisingly bland. Along with the aforementioned "Ooh La La," the upbeat tracks find Goldfrapp becoming the robo-glam-disco gods that Black Cherry suggested they might: the starkly catchy "Lovely 2 CU," the fabulously blasé "Ride a White Horse," and "Satin Chic," which could single-handedly make honky tonk pianos fashionable again, all use the duo's inherently theatrical style to very catchy, immediate ends. Interestingly, though, the sweeping ballads that used to be Goldfrapp's forte are the most uneven tracks on Supernature. It's not that tracks like "Time Out from the World" and "Koko" aren't pretty and ethereal enough, but they're just not that distinctive. Likewise, "Fly Me Away" is pleasant, but maybe a little too pleasant -- it almost sounds like it was commissioned for a travel commercial. However, "Let It Take You" shows that Goldfrapp can still craft gorgeous, weightless ballads, and "Number 1" nails the laid-back sexiness that many of the other slower songs attempt. It's surprisingly heartfelt, too -- is there a sweeter compliment than "you're my Saturday"? It would be unfair to say that Supernature's stripped-down pop is a dumbed-down version of what Goldfrapp has accomplished in the past, since it takes a certain kind of smarts to hone songs into instantly catchy essences like the album's best tracks. Yet, as delightfully stylish and immediate as Supernature is, it's still hard to escape the nagging feeling that Goldfrapp could make its ethereal sensuality and pop leanings into something even more compelling.

Review by Heather Phares,


01. Ooh La La (3:24)
02. Lovely 2 C U (3:25)
03. Ride a White Horse (4:41)
04. You Never Know (3:27)
05. Let It Take You (4:29)
06. Fly Me Away (4:25)
07. Slide In (4:17)
08. Koko (3:23)
09. Satin Chic (3:28)
10. Time Out From the World (4:47)
11. Number 1 (3:25)

Seventh Tree (2008)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 353 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320/Stereo) ~ 177 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: Mute | # CDSTUMM280. 5099951830021 | Time: 00:41:40 | Scans included

After spending years on the dancefloor with Black Cherry and Supernature, Goldfrapp take a breather with Seventh Tree. Allison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory slow down the beats and break out the acoustic guitars on a set of songs that suggest chilling out in a field during a hazy, watercolor summer; this is music for after the party, not after-parties. "Clowns" opens the album with fingerpicked acoustic guitar, bird songs, and Allison's nearly wordless vocalizing, making a statement that's bold because it's so gentle -- the effect is like stepping out into a sunny morning after spending all night in a club. At first, it's a shock, and then it feels great. Avoiding the glammy dance-pop of the duo's previous two albums is a bit of a risk, since Goldfrapp could probably make endless variations on "Ooh La La" and still have plenty of fans. However, Seventh Tree isn't so much a radical change for Goldfrapp as it is a shift in focus; even if it doesn't sound glam, it sounds glamorous. Sonic luxury has been the only constant in the duo's sound, from Felt Mountain's darkly lavish soundscapes to Black Cherry and Supernature's decadent dance hits, and there's plenty of it here, too. This is not Goldfrapp Unplugged, although acoustic guitars and strings waft in and out of the album effortlessly -- if anything, Seventh Tree's electro hippie-chic is the duo's most polished and luxe work yet. "Little Bird"'s psychedelic trip-hop builds to a majesty that recalls "Strawberry Fields Forever," buoyed by layer upon layer of guitar, vocals, sparkling synths, and a massive, rolling bassline. "Caravan Girl" is some of Goldfrapp's finest escapist pop, capturing the irresistible appeal of running away with big hooks and an even bigger wall of sounds backing them up. Allison uses her voice more beautifully and expressively than she has since Felt Mountain, especially on "Eat Yourself" and the Air-esque "Cologne Cerrone Houdini," where her upper register shines. Goldfrapp expand their emotional palette as well as their musical one on Seventh Tree, digging deeper into the vulnerable territory they explored with Supernature's "Number One." On "Monster Love" and "A&E," where Allison confesses "think I want you still, but it may be pills at work," the duo pulls off the confessional, folktronic singer/songwriter style with more flair than their peers. "Happiness," on the other hand, offers some surprisingly cheeky irony, pondering how to find "real love" (answer: "donate all your money") while coming across like a cheery cult anthem about trading your worldly possessions for colorful robes. With all the sounds and feelings Seventh Tree explores, it's clear that Goldfrapp doesn't miss the style the pair perfected on their last two albums, nor should they -- this is some of their most varied, balanced, and satisfying work.

Review by Heather Phares,


01. Clowns (4:08)
02. Little Bird (4:24)
03. Happiness (4:16)
04. Road To Somewhere (3:51)
05. Eat Yourself (4:06)
06. Some People (4:40)
07. A&E (3:17)
08. Cologne Cerrone Houdini (4:25)
09. Caravan Girl (4:05)
10. Monster Love (4:22)

Head First (2010)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 322 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320/Stereo) ~ 142 Mb (incl 5%)
Label: Mute | # CDSTUMM320/5099962621229 | Time: 00:38:12 | Scans included

Goldfrapp stepped off the dancefloor with The Seventh Tree's folky reveries, but the duo couldn't stay away for long. Head First dives into luscious, eminently danceable synth pop that's almost as far removed from the sleek shuffle beats of Black Cherry and Supernature as their previous album was. This time, Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory look to the ?0s for inspiration, but not the brittle sound that was fashionable to ape in the late 2000s, like La Roux and Little Boots. Instead, they explore the uber-glossy productions, staccato melodies, and dramatic key shifts that were the hallmarks of anthems that some might not want to admit they liked decades later. The influence of Giorgio Moroder and Italo-disco in general can be heard throughout Head First, but ABBA and especially Xanadu-era Olivia Newton-John are even more prominent (the cover of "Physical" that appeared between Felt Mountain and Black Cherry feels more prescient with each album Goldfrapp releases). The pair makes more of these sounds than just pastiche, although the finesse with which they re-create this distinctive sound will give listeners serious déjà vu. Even the album's length and structure feel retro: Head First is a svelte nine songs long, with the singles on its A-side and ballads on the B-side. And the singles -- particularly the first three -- are some of Goldfrapp's most irresistible songs yet: "Rocket"'s driving minor-key verses and huge, shimmering choruses tap into the brain's pleasure center as efficiently as possible; "Believer" sounds instantly familiar, but not tired or obvious; and "Alive" channels ABBA with percolating guitars, warm keyboards and synths that sparkle like a shower of glitter. These songs have a sugar rush-immediacy that is new to Goldfrapp's music, even if it nods to a golden age of pop that was unabashedly joyous. These songs are so mainstream, they're almost subversive; while Goldfrapp is no stranger to catchy singles, the brooding undercurrents that appeared in all of the duo's previous albums are missing. Song titles like "I Wanna Life" hint at the big, brightly colored strokes the duo is painting with this time, and the title track's rainbow brightness and romantic ideals are miles away from the dark sensuality of their earlier work -- only "Shiny and Warm," which plays like a revamped "Satin Chic," has any trace of that vibe. Even Head First's moody songs aren't as moody as before, though "Hunt" has a hazy, late-night glamour to it. As almost Goldfrapp album shows, the duo is unafraid of abandoning sounds that worked for them in favor of something else. Coupled with The Seventh Tree, this album proves that Goldfrapp's skill at adopting and fully embodying different styles is what makes them distinctive, not necessarily one signature sound. If the album seems somewhat slight, it's purposefully so: Head First is a love letter to the frothy, fleeting, but very vital joys of pop music.

Review by Heather Phares,


01. Rocket (3:51)
02. Believer (3:43)
03. Alive (3:28)
04. Dreaming (5:07)
05. Head First (4:30)
06. Hunt (4:34)
07. Shiny And Warm (3:58)
08. I Wanna Life (4:13)
09. Voicething (4:44)

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