Goldfrapp have been through a few reincarnations over the past few years, successfully traipsing through a mix of genres and finding that their sound lends well to many. Starting out in trip-hop waters on their much-to-be-desired debut, this was quickly replaced with a more mainstream electronic sound on the duo’s sophomore, Black Cherry in 2003. Goldfrapp really found their feet with the release of 2005’s international hit, Supernature, following a dive into dance music and churning out a plethora of chart placing singles like Ohh La La La, and Ride A White Horse.
Further albums Seventh Tree and the bands amazing 2010 retro inspired Head First release joined the lineup of successful Goldfrapp offerings with the latter drawing heavily on 1980’s synth-pop and gave the band further globally recognized hits in the form of Rocket and I’m A Believer.
Fast forward 3 years and the band return with their sixth studio album, Tales Of Us which has already garnered attention via the records lead single, Drew, which was released in the lead up to this new studio gift from the duo.
Tales Of Us is a much more dark and gloomy affair for Goldfrapp but not at all drab as that description might suggest. Opening with Jo, we are presented with a poetically cinematic soundscape or strings and a pacing piano forming the foundation to the albums swaying intro while there are moments within the middle and end of the track where the number takes flight around a beautifully flowing orchestral arrangement that is brief yet complimenting to the track.
Annabel and Lauren are both exquisite additions to Tales Of Us. Both down-tempo inclusions that carry Alison’s distinctively dusky vocal delivery and a stripped back instrumentation, they sit on the record as a pair of obvious, poetic masterpieces that capture the mind and give you immediate goosebumps.
The songs within the new 10 track collection all carry a single word title and all but one being a person’s name. Each track is coated with varying degrees of melancholia, a mood that was first heard on lead single, Drew and paired with some breathtaking and quite scandalous visuals thanks to the video that was released for the track.
Simone plays out in a similar vein to the rest of the tracks on Tales of Us but dons a slightly different vibe to it, fantasy-like and dreamy with a touch of electronica and a chilling cello popping up occasionally in the background to add a spooky effect to the number.
Clay, which ends the bands new record, is a sweet outro for Tales of Us that offers the record one of it more radio-friendly and mainstream inclusions. The gentle guitar picking that opens the track eventually progresses into a fantastic, punchy, cello-fuelled crescendo that struts confidently beside Alison’s powerful vocals and is a clear favorite for us on the new record.
Admittedly, Tales Of Us isn’t going to be everyone’s bag – it’s quite different to anything we have heard from Goldfrapp in the past and as a follow up to the bands previous bouncy Head First release, it’s quite contrasting to say the least but the bands latest style direction fits them perfectly. This really is a truly spectacular release for Goldfrapp who have taken their songsmith skills to a whole new level.
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::: RenownedForSound.com’s Editor and Founder –
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