Goldfrapp - Supernature + Remixes

NME.COM feature on Goldfrapp - Supernature + Remixes album including album review, artwork, tracks, listen now, tour dates, discography and more.

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Goldfrapp - Supernature + Remixes: Wikipedia Album Entry

Supernature is the third album by British electronic duo Goldfrapp. It was released by Mute Records on 22 August 2005 in the United Kingdom, and was the duo's first album to receive mixed reviews. Most critics complimented its blend of pop and electronic music, while others called it uninspiring. Supernature was a top five album in Goldfrapp's native United Kingdom, and its lead single "Ooh La La" was a top five single. In North America, where "Number 1" was promoted as the first single, the album was released on 7 March 2006, peaking low on the Billboard charts.

The album represented a change in Goldfrapp's musical style and featured pop and electronic-dance music; inspirations were disco music artist Donna Summer and New Wave band New Order. Supernature received a Grammy Award nomination in 2007 for "Best Electronic/Dance Album". In January 2006, the album was certified platinum in the UK, and has sold one million copies worldwide as of early 2007.



Recording and production
Supernature contains music in the same pop and electronic-dance styles featured on Goldfrapp's 2003 album Black Cherry (especially Black Cherry's singles "Strict Machine" and "Twist"), but it focuses on subtle hooks instead of large choruses. Goldfrapp's lead singer Alison Goldfrapp called the album's writing process "an electronic, glam cross between Berlin, New York and north-east Somerset", and said that she was inspired by artists such as Donna Summer and New Order.

Goldfrapp and Will Gregory recorded the bulk of Supernature in late 2004 in the countryside of Bath, England—the same place they recorded Black Cherry. They had rented a small house and spent some months writing music; they later explained that the unpopulated location kept them from distractions and that the majority of the process was "very basic". Goldfrapp has said that the duo respect certain boundaries when writing lyrics, referring to their studio sessions as a "democratic affair". The lyrical content of the song "Number 1", which became the album's second single, is about the importance and meaning of relationships, even though they do not necessarily last.

In an interview with College Music Journal, Goldfrapp explained that they had never intended to create dance music. However, the singles released from Black Cherry were successes across nightclubs in North America, and as a result, they decided to write a more dance-oriented album. Although this made the duo nervous, "Ooh La La" was the group's first song to feature the electric guitar. Before its composition, the duo avoided the use of the guitar because of the guitar's overly recognizable rhythm. Four-on-the-floor bass drums are also present on several of the album's tracks, and the piano ballad "Let It Take You" features evening-effects composed on a synthesizer."You Never Know" begins with Alison Goldfrapp executing a synthesized voice, supported by both pads and synthesizers. Goldfrapp and Gregory have cited "Satin Chic" as their favourite song on Supernature.

Alison Goldfrapp named the Roland String synth as one of her favourite keyboards. "Number 1" features an old synth and a bass arrangement that the group began to use frequently after recording the song. Another Roland String model, the SH-09, is another favourite; she played the duo's song "Train" (2003) on it and enjoys the sounds that it makes. Goldfrapp was also impressed by a Russian synth, enamored with its Russian-language writing.


Critical response
Supernature received mixed reviews from pop music critics. In a review for PopMatters, Adrien Begrand said that "although Supernature lacks the imagination of Felt Mountain and the saucy brilliance of Black Cherry, it doesn't pander to the pop crowd". Rolling Stone said the album was "toxic and delicious" and that "Supernature will make you do bad things — and like it". However, Pitchfork Media reviewer Nitsuh Abebe was less impressed, and wrote that the album's songs "keep feeling like exercises: too thick and melodic to work like dance music, but with melodies that refuse to stick as satisfyingly as pop." Michael Hubbard of MusicOMH.com wrote a review for every song on Supernature, and although he felt that it was a "curious, rather than classic, record", he criticized it for "fading out early on, with poor, low quality songs at the end which leave the listener feeling cheated". Allmusic reviewer Heather Phares called Supernature "Goldfrapp's most accessible album" and named "Ooh La La" as its best song.

In a review for Canadian-based Jam Canoe, Andrew Carver praised the different sounds on Supernature, which range from "a blend of future noise" to "crushed velvet corruption"; he described the album as "one sharp recording". Jessica Suarez of Spin magazine compared "Ooh La La" with Black Cherry's "Strict Machine", saying that "Ooh La La" sounds "so simplistic that [its] minimalist repetition occasionally teeters over into redundancy". She praised "Ride a White Horse" and "Fly Me Away" for featuring Alison Goldfrapp's "velvet-soft vocals, which stay that way even when heavily processed". A less favourable reception came from Stylus magazine reviewer Edward Oculicz, who stated "Supernature is not a great album" and called several of its tracks too "dull".

Rolling Stone magazine included the album in its list of the top fifty albums of 2006, ranking it at number thirty-two. In 2008, the album was included on The Daily Telegraph's list of "120 Essential Pop Albums". At the 2007 Grammy Awards, Goldfrapp received two nominations for "Best Electronic/Dance Album" and "Best Dance Recording" for "Ooh La La".

Chart performance and sales
Supernature debuted on the UK albums chart at number two (blocked from the top position by James Blunt's Back to Bedlam), and sold 52,976 copies in its first week of release. The album remained on the chart for thirty-one weeks, and was certified platinum on 13 January 2006.In Australia, the album reached number twenty-three, although it received limited promotion. The album reached the top forty in Austria, Germany, New Zealand and Switzerland and sold one million copies worldwide as of 2006. Supernature became Goldfrapp's first release to chart on the Billboard 200 albums chart in the United States, where it peaked at number one-hundred thirty-eight. It reached number three on the Top Heatseekers chart and number five on the Top Electronic Albums chart. The album has sold 49,000 copies in the US as of August 2006.


Songs
"Let It Take You"

The use of evening effects is layered over Goldfrapp's vocals throughout this ballad.

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"Ooh La La"

A top-five single in the UK, it was Goldfrapp's first song to feature the electric guitar.

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"Satin Chic"

Goldfrapp cited this song as their favourite on Supernature.

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Problems listening to these files? See media help.
"Ooh La La", Supernature's opening track, inspired by T.Rex , was chosen as its lead single "because it was up and in your face and it carried on the theme of the glammy, discoey beat from the last album". It was the duo's first song to feature the electric guitar, and received positive reviews, often being noted as a highlight of the album. In the United Kingdom, "Ooh La La" was Goldfrapp's most successful single release, reaching the top five. It was also promoted in US dance clubs, and peaked in the top ten of the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart. The second track, "Lovely 2 C U", received mixed reviews from critics, with one reviewer stating that it was the "worst offender of sounding by-numbers, its lazy glam affectations sounding all the worse amid a chorus striking only in its complete dullness".


Alison Goldfrapp performing "Number 1" at the Wireless Festival in June 2006."Ride a White Horse", the third single, was inspired by the disco era. Like previous singles from the album, the song was another top-twenty single in the UK. The ballads "You Never Know" and "Let it Take You" have minimal background electronics, and were generally well-received by critics, who drew comparisons to Goldfrapp's debut album Felt Mountain. "Fly Me Away", another synth ballad, had an associated music video which featured Goldfrapp as an animated doll; the video, however, was never released. The song was not heavily promoted and was less commercially successful than the other singles. "Slide In", an electroclash song about sex, and "Koko" were compared to Gary Numan's early compositions. A remix of "Slide In" by DFA was released as a promotional single in the UK in early 2006.

"Satin Chic" is a disco song with glam rock and cabaret influences, similar to early Elton John. Cited by Goldfrapp and Gregory as their favourite song on Supernature, it was remixed by The Flaming Lips and issued as a limited edition single in September 2006. The tenth track, "Time Out from the World", features an orchestra and whispered vocals by Goldfrapp. Critics liked the song, writing that it was an "exception to the prevailing style of Supernature" due to its "haunting, yet glamorous, atmospherics". The album's closing track and second single, "Number 1", is about the importance and meaning of relationships. The song, which is based around a synth and bass arrangement, reached the top ten in the UK and number one on the US Dance Chart.


Track listing
All tracks were written and composed by Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory, except where noted.

"Ooh La La" – 3:23
"Lovely 2 C U" – 3:25
"Ride a White Horse" (Goldfrapp, Gregory, Nick Batt) – 4:42
"You Never Know" – 3:27
"Let It Take You" – 4:30
"Fly Me Away" – 4:25
"Slide In" – 4:17
"Koko" – 3:23
"Satin Chic" – 3:28
"Time Out from the World" – 4:47
"Number 1" – 3:25

[edit] Bonus tracks
The following tracks were included on the Japanese and US editions of Supernature.

"Beautiful" – 4:51

European special edition
The following bonus features were included on the European special edition of Supernature.

Supernature in 5.1 & Stereo
Little Bits of Goldfrapp: Documentary
Jakko and the Poet in Frappworld
Photo gallery of Goldfrapp

US special edition
The following bonus features were included on the US special edition of Supernature.

Supernature in 5.1 & Stereo (excluding bonus track "Beautiful")
Music videos of "Ooh La La" and "Number 1", live video of "Ride a White Horse" and special performance of "Satin Chic"
Little Bits of Goldfrapp: Documentary
Jakko and the Poet in Frappworld
Photo gallery of Goldfrapp
"Ooh La La" (Little Pictures video)

[edit] Personnel
The following people contributed to Supernature:

Alison Goldfrapp – lead vocals, backing vocals, synthesizer, art direction
Nick Batt – synthesizer, programming
Will Gregory, Daniel Miller – synthesizer
Adrian Utley – guitar, bass
Charlie Jones – bass
Dave Power – drums
Ewan Pearson – programming
Nick Ingman – orchestra lead
Steve R. Evans – engineering
Mat Bartram, Alex Dromgoole, Richard Edgeler, Tim Roe – assistant engineering
Dave Bascombe, Mark "Spike" Stent, Jeremy Wheatley, Paul PDub Walton – mixing
Lee Groves – mixing programming
Ted Jensen – mastering
Rachel Thomas – set design
Mat Maitland, Gerard Saint – art direction

Release history
The album was released in two versions: a single disc version, which used Opendisc technology to offer extras via a website, and a double disc version which included the album in surround sound on both discs. The first disc is a hybrid SACD with 5.1 multichannel SACD audio, stereo SACD audio and stereo CD audio. The second disc, a DVD-Video, contains the multichannel version of the album in DTS 96/24 as well as a documentary and music videos for "Ooh La La" and "Number 1."

Region Date Label Format(s) Catalog
United Kingdom 22 August 2005 Mute Records CD, CD/DVD, LP, Digital download STUMM250
Europe CD, Digital download
Japan CD, Digital download TOCP-66432
United Kingdom 5 December 2005 Mute Records UMD STUMM250
United States 7 March 2006 CD, CD/DVD, Digital download 9296-2


Charts
Charts (2005) Peak
position
Australian Albums Chart 23
Austrian Albums Chart 33
Belgian Albums Chart (Flanders)16
Dutch Albums Chart 36
French Albums Chart 43
German Albums Chart 26
New Zealand Albums Chart35
Norwegian Albums Chart 36
Swiss Albums Chart 29
UK Albums Chart 2
Charts (2006) Peak
position
US Billboard 200 138
US Billboard Top Electronic Albums 5
US Billboard Top Heatseekers 3

User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License and may also be available under the GNU FDL.

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