UK glam electronic duo Goldfrapp is back, and with a new sound on their fourth album. Out go the stomping beats of the last two albums ("Black cherry" and "Supernature"), and in come lots of acoustic guitar against a chilled swirling ambient soundscape, a move sure to send those expecting disco lights and balls heading for the hills. Those who like Kate Bush, Kate Havnevik or Björk will be embracing this with maniacal glee.
"Seventh Tree" is the follow up to their UK #2 Grammy nominated album "Supernature". Right from the delicately strummed guitars, ethereal vocals and haunting strings of the percussion free opening cut "Clowns", the atmosphere is one of gently floating away. "Little bird" is folk/electronica with sparse guitars and electronic flourishes ebbing and flowing, and percussion filtering in towards the end.
"Happiness" features delicate percussion initially which builds up as the song progresses, it has a nice swinging feel and is one of a pair of (the most) upbeat numbers. "Road to somewhere" is a gentle acoustic ballad with lilting beats, a faint bassline and an almost Oriental feel. "Eat yourself" is another acoustic ballad with instruments gradually building up with angelic sounding harmonies. Similar is the shimmery "Some people".
Lead-off single "A&E" is a gently pulsing acoustic song which vaguely reminds me of Cyndi Lauper's "All through the night", albeit a more sombre version. Surprisingly, it has made the UK top 10, surprising as it is beautiful but so uncommercial. The sweeping "Cologne Cerrone Houdini" is a beautiful dreamy ballad that sounds like it should be the next James Bond theme song. The other upbeat song is the poppy Cranberries-style "Caravan girl" with gently jangly guitars (it's almost as though they are afraid they will wake you up), and closing is the gentle acoustic "Monster love" with swirling electronic effects and an almost hymnal feel.
Lots of haunting or angelic harmonies, a stripped down dreamy acoustic sound garnished with swirling synths and electronic effects. Goldfrapp have made music, not for the feet this time, but for the heart.