Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Song: Drew
Artist: Goldfrapp
Album: Tales of Us

With each new album, Goldfrapp expand what will be their legacy; a string of cohesive albums that each have their own unique sound and mood, all within the range of really pretty good to jaw-drop amazing.  From the trip-hop of their debut Felt Mountain, to the hard electro of Supernature, onto the psychedelic folk-tronica of Seventh Tree and the 80s revivalism of Head First.  But what to make of their latest, sixth album Tales of Us... it's certainly cohesive like their past work, but also their most downbeat... making Seventh Tree feel like Supernature in tempo.  Seriously, that's how slow it is.

Like Bjork's Vespertine, Tales of Us comes after mostly beat-driven works as a bit of a WTF? girl.  I'm still in the WTF stage at this point, but my hope is that the charms of Tales of Us begin to shine through the haze of unmet expectations and confusion the way they did with Vespertine, which I consider one of Bjork's best records.

Truth be told though, Tales of Us is even more of a departure, an album for early winter mornings, piano-based ballads and light acoustic guitar accompany story-songs, each named as a single name ("Drew," "Anabel," "Thea," etc. except track eight, which is simply "Stranger.")   Their trademark electronic production really only comes into play with middle track "Thea."  Who are these people?  What "tales" are being told here?  This begs for true sit-down lyrics-in-hand listen.  I haven't done that yet, and I'm currently just a couple clicks above "meh" at this point.  Things can change.

But Goldfrapp have given me too much joy not to spend the time with this.  It's a mood record, but they are songwriters at heart, and I have a feeling these songs have more layers to reveal.  There's a lot of things Tales of Us is not... but it is gorgeous.  Something Goldfrapp have never stopped being.


Tales of Us Preview

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