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Seventh Tree

Goldfrapp’s newest album is getting a lot of attention for what it isn’t: it isn’t a continuation of their previous two albums’ infatuation with glam rock and dance music. But what it is instead is a new direction for a band that many forgot started with an adventurous streak. Before they became known for New Wave-style club hits and swaggering vocal performances, Goldfrapp were a duo that created dark cabaret music, as they did on their debut album. So, it should come as no surprise that they’ve turned their attention to psychedelic pop music on their fourth album. They were due for a change. Thankfully, they've created psychedelic folk and pop music that’s as good, if not better, than their glam dance tracks.

Understand, though, that this isn’t one-dimensional music, this is an intriguing mix of styles and sounds stirred together until something deceptively original arrives. The album opens with the pastoral folk of “Clowns,” sounding not unlike a blend of the ethereal work of Nick Drake and Vashti Bunyan, and this is only the start. From there, the album bounces between various forms of psyche-pop: “Little Bird” wouldn’t be out of place on the most recent Caribou album; “Road to Somewhere” is a surprisingly soulful ballad, albeit with spacey background sounds for added weirdness; “Eat Yourself” sounds surprisingly like an early Ida demo, complete with scratchy ambient noises; “A & E” is an approximation of late-period Siouxsie and the Banshees at their most anthemic. Add to these already great tracks two of the duo’s best songs, the Beatles-like “Happiness,” and “Caravan Girl,” a track that perfectly encompasses the driving drama of classic 80’s pop, and you have a recipe for Goldfrapp’s best album to date, one that succeeds because it doesn’t stick with what’s worked so far.


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Thursday, July 24, 2014 All Contents Copyright © 2014 Stinkweeds Music