The golden years of Goldfrapp

Alison Goldfrapp (via Wikimedia Commons)

What a brilliant band. This appeared in Sin January 16 2012. 
Dreamy, sexy and hypnotic, electro pop duo Goldfrapp have always been a class apart since their formation in 1999. Will Gregory and Alison Goldfrapp emerged out of the trip-hop scene of the 1990s and their first album Felt Mountain was shortlisted for the 2000 Mercury Prize.
With such diverse musical influences as Kate Bush, T-Rex and Serge Gainsbourg, Goldfrapp are nothing if not eclectic. Alison Goldfrapp’s distinctive look- pirate hats, peacock feathers, ringmaster suits- are inspirational fashion-wise too.
Will Gregory has said his biggest inspiration is the composer Enrico Morricone, best known for the theme to the spaghetti western, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. This cinematic style is best seen in their earlier work, especially in songs like Oompa Radar.
Now, thirteen years on from their first album, Goldfrapp will release a collection of their greatest hits next month. Goldfrapp: The Singles covers their evolution from the cinematic, floaty sound ofFelt Mountain to the upbeat disco-pop of 2010’s Head First.
The stomping Ooh La La from 2005’s Supernature opens the collection. This was Goldfrapp’s first UK Top Five single and is still soundtracking ads seven years later. It is of course, the Goldfrapp song everyone knows.
The pace doesn’t let up with Supernature’s Number 1 and 2003’s Strict Machine, the insanely catchy ode to robotic love. Apparently this song is about lab rats being trained to love… or something. Even better, it sounds like something a lovelorn android would sing in the year 3000.
One of the highlights is 2008’s A&E, from the Goldfrapp’s fourth album Seventh Tree. Lush and gorgeous, its dark lyrics seem somehow uplifting. It’s one of the most beautiful songs that Goldfrapp have recorded. Likewise much of Seventh Tree is gloriously melancholic. The other representative from the album on this collection is the Beatles-esque Happiness.
The tempo ups again with the feel good Rocket and Believer from 2010’s Head FirstRocket, a song you can’t help but sing along to, is a great introduction to the Grammy-nominated Head First.
And for fans, there’s an extra treat; two new songs conclude the album. The mellow and wistfulYellow Halo is ray of sunshine for the ears. The longing Melancholy Sky, is a chilled finale to a fantastic collection.
For those who only know Ooh La La and Strict Machine, this album is a great way to get introduced to Goldfrapp’s music. More dedicated fans will be delighted with the two new tracks. Goldfrapp: the Singles is well worth investing in.
Goldfrapp: The Singles will be released on CD and download on Mute/Parlophone records on February 6 2012.

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