Time to plug the machines back in
From fragrance ads to fashion shows, dancefloors to dinner parties, Goldfrapp were inescapable a decade ago. The cyber-glam duo fanned the dying embers of electroclash on albums like ‘Black Cherry’ (2003) and ‘Supernature’ (2005), and emerged its most triumphant exponents. They then crept away from disco, and the far more grown-up pastime of folktronica followed on 2008’s ‘Seventh Tree’. Come sixth album ‘Tales Of Us’ there’s barely any ‘tronica’ at all, with Alison and her accomplice Will Gregory swapping grooves for pagan twaddle. The record features a series of stripped-back séances, each with their own plaintive and spooky soundscape, and a narrative involving bohemian chums of Alison whom we neither know nor care about. Nine of the ten songs are named after said friends, and they’re samey and indulgent. ‘Jo’, for instance, is cinematic and pretty but ultimately forgettable, while there’s something inexplicably amdram about ‘Drew’. ‘Annabel’ just sounds like Abba gone acoustic. Time to plug the machines back in.