With 2003’s “Black Cherry” (read my review here), Goldfrapp largely abandoned the lush orchestrations of their debut album “Felt Mountain” (read my review here) for a more minimalistic and metallic sound. Thanks to this, the duo reached new peaks with the spiky, electric buzz of “Twist” and “Strict Machine”; next to Fat Truckers’ debut album possibly the best pieces of retrofuturistic electropop produced over the last couple of years.

“Supernature” continues along a path that stays much the same – sparkling electronic pop interspersed with slower, string boosted moments that recall the cloudy dreamscapes of “Felt Mountain”.

Sadly enough, though, some vital things are missing from the equation this time around. The most annoying flaw is the fact that the production has changed into something a lot more polished, leaving the songs devoid of the captivating energy that was the main appeal on “Black Cherry”.

And where the band’s lyrics may have been nonsensical before, they at least used to vibrate with a very vital, surreal playfulness, but now Goldfrapp have taken a maybe small but nevertheless devastating step towards almost pure inanity. No, I don’t want to picture Alison Goldfrapp riding a white horse.

Still obsessed with the camp decadence of glam rock, Goldfrapp seem to be injecting glamour as if it were a designer drug. But ultimately they are more Bolan than Bowie, and now the sex, glamour and decadence start to feel more like a worn out masquerade costume than the natural second skin it functioned as before. It is this feeling that makes me find it hard to appreciate the more attitude-drenched moments here, like single “Ooh La La”, a fine pop tune that’s sadly just trying too hard. And when it’s come to that, there’s only one conclusion to make – this particular drug doesn’t quite do it anymore.

All that said, the album does end on a hopeful note. “Number 1” sees the band riding down the Autobahn, but the view through the windshield is a pan-European kaleidoscope that spins a psychedelic web of images of bittersweet longing. Moroder, Gainsbourg, Paris, Berlin, Goldfrapp. When they’re this good, they sure are in great company. If only there were more moments like this on “Supernature”.