ALBUM MUTE, PLAYGROUND RELEASE:
APRIL 28, 2003 REVIEW: MAY 15, 2003
debut album "Felt Mountain" didn't do very much for me at first.
I recall giving it a six when it was released in the summer of 2000. That
summer, I was, on the other hand, mainly preoccupied with drinking and
watching Japanese mondo cyborgo classics like "Tetsuo" in the
tiny basement room I rented, and didn't have much time for somnambulistic
soundscapes. Later, I realized that the album's baroque richness held
enough enigmatic sensuality to illuminate many late nighs, not to mention
to levitate it far above second generation trip hop outfits; the kind
of bands some people might feel tempted to lump Goldfrapp in with.
now it's 2003, and again Goldfrapp initially disappoint me. The single
"Train" first felt like a clear case of jumping the electroclash
bandwagon. And the album follows suit, with Goldfrapp largely eschewing
big string arrangements for a higher tempo and electronics that are cold
and stripped to the metallic core. But the lyrics, sometimes nonsensical,
sometimes surreal in a highly sexually charged manner, work brilliantly
in contrasting the high pitched electronic shrieks. And unlike much recent
electronic pop, Goldfrapp look more forward than backward, the pulsating,
hissing arrangements inhabiting a sphere of their own. They also avoid
the Teutonic sternness of the bulk of their new electronic wave contemporaries,
in favour of a hedonistic playfulness that is way more appealing.
end result is, thankfully, closer to Giorgio Moroder than Human League.
And that's much needed for the moment.