I originally purchased "Supernature" as an import, so I've given this album a solid day in court. While it has grown on me in the last few months, my opinion still stands: "Supernature" is good solid stuff, but it doesn't measure up to Goldfrapp's first two albums.
"Felt Mountain" was a dreamy voyage through svelte lounge pop, and "Black Cherry" was a spewing geyser of electro-synth technolust. "Supernature" is, musically, a perfect chimera of the two: sedate-ish pop songs with time-signatures, progressions, and structure similar to those on "Felt Mountain", but using the electronic wall-of-sound from "Black Cherry". Like "Felt Mountain", the songs on "Supernature" are largely free of musical hooks. This lack of hooks contributed to "Felt Mountain" being a downtempo masterpiece, but it makes pop music seem ephemeral, which is "Supernature"'s greatest weakness: many of these songs don't stick around in your mind after they're over. They're nice to listen to, and as far as pop music goes they're very innovative, but they just doesn't leave you haunted.
I do enjoy this album, even though I initially found it underwhelming, because the duo are still putting together songs that are untraditional and interesting. The arrangements have a beautiful complexity and Allison's vocalwork are clearly among the top 1% of her peers. That said, I didn't notice this right away, and the uniqueness of the tracks really come out with repeated listens. They're more subtle and don't rely on either raw energy (ala "Black Cherry") or a unique lounge vibe ("Felt Mountain"). So if "Supernature" doesn't live up to your immediate expectations, give it some time. It may grow on you.
While I think this album is the weakest in their portfolio, it's still a good listen, and besides, even Goldfrapp on an off-day makes most radio-standard pop seem like algorithm-generated plodding.
Note: the US release differs from the original UK edition in that it has a bonus track, "Beautiful", a B-side from the "Number 1" single, and thankfully this is one of the strongest songs on the entire CD. For those completists out there who already have the UK version, it's really difficult to justify spending $15 just to get one new track, so if you're torn, you'd be better off tracking down the "Number 1" single (since it has "Beautiful" and another exclusive track, "All Night Operator", and some remixes).
(In case anyone out there is wondering, unlike the import version of this album, the US release has neither copy protection nor OpenDisc-based DRM technology, which can cause problems with computers, car stereos, portable disc players, etc. The US release is the way a music CD should be.)