BY APRIL S. ENGRAM
Talented duo Goldfrapp – singer Alison Goldfrapp and producer Will Gregory – reinvent themselves with each new release. Harkening to the softer folk sounds of their debut more than 10 years ago, Tales of Us, their sixth album, does not possess any of the grinding, dance pop sounds for which Goldfrapp has become increasingly known. Tales barely creeps above a whisper as the soft genteel sounds of violins, piano, acoustic guitar and other stringed instruments float and dance off of Alison’s delicate and pristine vocals. Yes, it is beautiful, yes it is elegantly crafted…unfortunately an entire album of flattened sound waves, as exquisite as it may prove, culminates into an album that fades into the background.
Titled Tales of Us as each title on the 10 track album (with the exception of “Stranger”) bares a character’s name, Alison weaves a tale about each individual; and, judge a single track one will easily fall in love with its sonic beauty. Indeed there are strong moments within Tales, on nearly each track in fact, such as the crescendo of violins and drums on first single “Drew” or the lovely ending of Alison’s layered vocals on “Alvar” and “Jo.” If only the formula of plucky acoustic guitar and piano were broken more often as it is with “Thea.” The only “heavier” track on the album, it features more synthesizers and a rolling drum and bass in which Alison’s operatic, soprano vocals easily careen over.
Tales of Us unveils yet again how talented Goldfrapp truly is as together Alison and Gregory continue to craft music that does not pigeonhole them into a set genre; they simply make exceptional music.
DOWNLOAD: “Alvar,” “Thea”