In my head, I still regard Goldfrapp as being a pop sensation of the early 2000s. The choruses of 2003’s ‘Train’ and 2005’s ‘Oh La La’ are synonymous with that period of pop. The departure from their electro-pop roots on 2008’s Seventh Tree showed the stripped-back acoustic side to the London duo’s songwriting prowess. This started a back-and-forth approach to the overall vibe of their albums. On 2010’s Head First they returned to electronica before once again picking up the acoustic guitar on 2014’s Take Us. Guess where Silver Eye fits in…
I’m thrown back into the noughties on ‘Anymore’, but that’s not to say it’s dated. Quite the opposite. It retains the magic of Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory’s older releases while feeling completely current. ‘Systemagic’ offers a different yet equally addictive groove complete with distorted synths and a simple but catchy chorus. Safe to say, they’re off to a great start.
Often, Alison’s vocal serves as another instrument rather than a vehicle for lyrics.
Often, Alison’s vocal serves as another instrument rather than a vehicle for lyrics. ‘Become The One’ is a rousing anthem but the repetitive inspirational call of “Become the one you know you are” interspersed with instructions run through a vocoder has little lyrical power. If anything they’re simply additional melody, but that’s not necessarily a complaint.
‘Faux Suede Drifter’ provides a moment of mid-album ambience absorbing the listener and, indeed, Alison herself in a whirlpool of sonics and sounds. It’s here the album wanes slightly with ‘Zodiac Black’ – the only piece of filler by my reckoning – but this makes the final stretch all the more epic.
The carpe diem motif of ‘Everything Is Never Enough’ could, on the face of it, be a fitting finale. However, it’s singles ‘Moon In Your Mouth’ and ‘Ocean’ which are chosen to close proceedings. This makes sense; they tie up this album with a sense of journey’s end that sums up Goldfrapp’s career.
Hints of the past, bundles of the present
Evocative atmospheres and imagery
Rousing electronica with some catchy hooks
|4. Become The One|
|5. Faux Suede Drifter|
|6. Zodiac Black|
|7. Beast That Never Was|
|8. Everything Is Never Enough|
|9. Moon In Your Mouth|