The Upshot: Silver Eye is pure gold.
BY APRIL S. ENGRAM
Robotic yet moving. Ethereal yet roaring. Angelic yet possessed. All of these words collectively describe the sonic world created on Silver Eye, Goldfrapp’s seventh album. Formed in 1999, the talented UK duo—Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory—have explored a range of dance sounds in their nearly 20 years of music making.
From their quiet, jazz infused pop debut, 2000s Felt Mountain to the dripping in loud, synth sexiness of 2005s Supernature Goldfrapp has proven to be a musical chameleon while maintaining their electronic core. Whereas in the past each album singularly explored a style of dance music—Tales of Us melded folk with electronica, Head First reveled in 80s style synth pop, Black Cherry launched Goldfrapp’s love of bass laden keys—Silver Eye has a touch of each.
First singles, “Anymore” and “Moon in Your Mouth” are possibly the most instantly appealing tracks while the songs sandwiched between these two grow on you. “Moon in Your Mouth” is a touching love song as Alison opens with the words “I’m alive/I feel your heartbeat/Moon in your mouth.” Adding Allison’s genteel vocals that cascade and float over the music, “Moon” proves quite moving.
First track “Anymore,” followed by “Systemagic,”may lead fans to believe Goldfrapp has returned to their hard hitting, rumbling bass days of Supernature, however Silver Eye is more calm in nature. “Tigerman,” “Zodiac Black,” and “Beast That Never Was” are gentle tracks with few instruments, just keys, percussion and low-key effects, that allow Alison’s versatile vocals take center stage. The whispery-speaking-vocals on “Become the One” prove reminiscent of Grace Jones’ seductive purrs and “Faux Suede Drifter” is a slow, beautiful track that excellently focuses on Alison’s effervescent soprano. She softly sings in her perfected high vocals before sliding into the lyric-less refrain of her vocalizing.
“Everything is Never Enough” is an upbeat, synth drenched, 80s-esque dance song complete with flanger, ocean swells. Closing track “Ocean” returns us to edgier sounds as the quiet song that begins with Alison’s vocals and revolving keys gives way to gritty effects that grind along with the hard hitting drums. Still as polished as ever, Goldfrapp continues to craft their signature sounds and creating albums that from beginning to end evokes a particular emotion. Silver Eye is moving forward in that Goldfrapp did not resolve to focus solely on one style, they effortlessly melded several influences, leaving us with a fine album to introduce 2017.
DOWNLOAD: “Moon in Your Mouth,” “Faux Suede Drifter”