WOW. Just in time before we all freeze forever under the never-ending bleach midwinter of Queen Gaga and her Lame Monster, Alison Goldfrapp has slipped out of her gyppo skirt and back into a pink PVC jumpsuit to save us all from faux-glamnation. This time Goldfrapp take inspiration from the recent wave of French electro like hot label Valerie Records, and less from the obvious 'Madge Stefani' source pool that Gaga swims in.
The new record Head Start will hit cyber shelves next Monday, although the media will perhaps dedicate more inches to the fact that Alison now has a girlfriend (ooh-ah), film editor Lisa Gunning, whom she met on the set for Nowhere Boy.
So plastic and supercharged is Goldfrapp’s fifth album Head First that its nine short tracks make a micro-electro total of only 38 minutes! Music critics are predictably suspicious of the release, accusing the duo of following the pop curve this time instead of pulling it along as usual. It is unlikely that anything from the album will be anywhere near as good as Lady Gaga’s ‘Bad Romance’ or ‘Monster’, still, the record might at least give that insipid tramp Ke$ha a smack in the pop gob.
Goldfrapp’s last album Seventh Tree saw an unexpected career turn (and a due plunge in sales) for Goldfrapp as they swapped glitter for wicker and ran to the forest – a brave berry-picking pop path that sadly nobody followed. It was at this stage that the media started dubbing Goldfrapp and anyone else with a candle lantern as ‘folktronica’ – one of the dullest gems in the journolingo crown of scorns, a nefarious new micro-genre that even the insuperable Patrick Wolf was unwittingly classed as.
So it’s nice to see Goldfrapp back on track, racing from the woods with metaphorical rocket-boosters and Van Halen turned up loud.
The Guardian’s Kitty Empire dislikes Head First, sitting on the fence in her review with her conclusion “a decent but unsurprising album”, whilst the BBC’s Ian Wade showed slightly wider margins of enthusiasm exclaiming excitedly “the duo has put away the maypole and mummery of 2008’s folk-flavoured Seventh Tree, and rummaged through the box marked big synths, lasers, jumpsuits and all things shiny.”
The first single Rocket is a soft-pop marriage between Van Halen’s iconic Jump and DJ Sammy’s remake of Boys of Summer, with some Cyndi Lauper shades and a pinch of Felix Da Housecat. Listen to it yourself on YouTube now.
Read Kitty Empire’s review on Guardian.co.uk here
Read Ian Wade’s BBC Music review here
The suspense is thrilling me. I hope Sam Taylor-Wood makes Alison Goldfrapp the Godmother of her baby.