Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory return, this time though moving back from the dancefloor, the lights and the glitter to an altogether calmer place. Yes, this album is a far more laid-back, downtempo affair; and a fine vintage too.

“Clowns” is a very interesting opener, nicely seductive and very, very old-fashioned; basically a voice and an acoustic guitar – not something you expect from someone so related with electropop/glamrock music. As always there is a lovely quality to Alison's voice, shown fittingly here sitting beautifully with the orchestral backing that gradually permeates the opener.

“Little Bird” has slightly more ethereal sounds to its sonic palette, and sounds reminiscent of the psychedelic albums of the late 60's and early 70's – groovy baby! This theme continues throughout the set, verging from the late Beatles-esque “Happiness” to the chirrupingly atmospheric “A&E”.

There is little to dislike about this album, it is hazy, beautiful music, sung impeccably, and quite bravely moves away from any preconceptions of what I'm sure countless numbers of people may have expected from the return of Goldfrapp. Somehow it is all perfectly fitting and right; this style suits them down to a tee. There are lovely little touches in the production too, and all are quite retro in style, mostly focusing on the kind of backwards played rhythms so typical of the 60's. “Cologne Cerrone Houdini” though wins it for me, being a beautifully hazy, trippy track that would have stood the test of time even if it had been from way back in the day – beautiful.

Quite an interesting album overall then, being that it sounds like something that hasn't so much been recently invented, as has been recently re-discovered: like a relic from another era. It almost feels like these recordings have been lifted straight from old 33 and a thirds, with the scratches preserved intact for posterity. Warm, fuzzy, slightly nostalgic and yet a totally modern collection of tracks. Like finding an old, dusty LP and playing it for the first time in years, everything is new and yet strangely familiar – luckily, you need not dust down the old gramophone, just stick it in your Ipod and off you go – enjoy!


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