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Album Review: Goldfrapp – Silver Eye

3 min read
Photo: Mushroom Group

It took electronic duo Goldfrapp – members Alison Goldfrapp and quiet, almost ghost member Will Gregory – a couple of albums to really find their footing in the British music scene. With debut album Felt Mountain failing to make a lasting impression on Brit audiences, follow up Black Cherry gave the band a glam-rock style that would see them rise like a phoenix and take over the increasingly popular and resurging synth-pop wave of the early noughties and reign supreme. They added mainstream seasoning to the mix on 2005’s Supernature with its singles Ooh La La, Number 1 and Ride A White Horse gaining international popularity for the band while later records – the 1980’s soaked brilliance of Head First and the stark and poetically somber Tales of Us – offered followers of the outfit contrasting yet complimenting titles to add to an eccentric yet very cohesive Goldfrapp collection.

Fast forward 4 years and Alison and Will have emerged from the studio to present album number 7 with Silver Eye already being hailed as one of the key releases of 2017 – and for good reason.

A striking electronic vein explodes as opening single Anymore cracks the lid on Silver Eye; humming synths reverberate around Alison’s distinctively elegant, husky vocals which murmur through a track that is fresh yet wouldn’t sound too out of place on the bands 2005 Supernature masterpiece.

Easily the finest number to be found on the new record, Systemagic is the Ooh La La or Rocket of this new collection. Alison’s cool vocal owns this track more than any other on the album; both during the tracks catchy verses, hook-heaving chorus and echoed dream sequence. This is an earworm that will refuse to give up its residency and is an inclusion that immediately sets itself apart within the Goldfrapp catalogue as one of the bands standout recordings.

With other tracks on the record such as the spacey Become The One and easy single contender Enough is Never Enough carrying the same punchy, electronic cloak, numbers like Tigerman offer Silver Eye generous portions of bellowing 80’s drenched languor and show off the bands impressive versatility; something they have learned from jumping between releases like Head First and Tales of Us with ease and perfection.

While the album is cohesive and appears incredibly well thought out, there is also an experimental feel within memorable tracks like the soft and syrupy Faux Suede Drifter that add a further sense of almost escapism – mesmerizing musical components that allow the listener to feel completely absorbed in the experience of listening to a record like Silver Eye. They have done it on previous albums and master this yet again on this new effort. Its these qualities – mixed with infectious mainstream singles, that make Silver Eye one of the defining gifts from the Goldfrapp camp.