After spooking casual fans with whip-cracking beats, mechanical melodies and the low grade S&M imagery of 2005's Supernature
, Alison Goldfrapp and musical partner Will Gregory crawl out of their dark disco dungeon and run wild in the country with Seventh Tree
. The duo's fourth album is a throwback to its moody debut, Felt Mountain
, emphasizing gently strummed acoustic guitars and shy romantic melodies; sounding significantly more Joni Mitchell than Depeche Mode. Soft-focus ballads like "Clowns" and "A&E" swell with strings and bird noises, while the synth-heavy "Happiness" finds the group reconnecting with its electronic past only to redecorate it with rainbow tassles and pony stickers. But listen closely to the lyrics and you'll discover the old demons still linger beneath the luminous surface: "We can see you troubled soul/ Give us all your money we'll/ Make it better." --Aidin Vaziri
U.S. Limited Deluxe Edition Two Disc set CD/DVD comprising a 10-track CD album, written by Alison & Will and recorded at their own studio deep in the English countryside. Bonus DVD (NTSC/Region 0) featuring a documentary, 'A&E' music video and a Q&A session, presented in card picture sleeves housed in a deluxe clamshell picture box complete with handwritten lyric book, fold out poster and postcards. If 'Supernature' was airbrushed in bold strokes of glitterball glamour, 'Seventh Tree' is its sensualcounterpoint as it emerges gilded in the butterfly colours of an English surrealism shared from Lear to Lennon; including the single 'A&E'. Mute. 2008.