thu 18/08/2022

CD: Goldfrapp – Silver Eye | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Goldfrapp – Silver Eye

CD: Goldfrapp – Silver Eye

Hipster electro-poppers fall between two stools

Wearing thin: Goldfrapp's seventh long-player

Silver Eye is Goldfrapp’s seventh long-player in an 18-year career that has taken in electronica sounds of all stripes. It sees the duo make a stab at melding together the club-friendly electropop and the witchy rural folk-noir sounds of their repertoire.

Not ones to repeat themselves sonically, this involves the band inhabiting a sound characterised by dirty and sparse electronics with distorted, helium-powered vocals that annoyingly bring to mind Thereza Bazar of Eighties pop-muppets, Dollar.

While this is initially an interesting and intriguing concept, it soon starts to wear pretty thin. Silver Eye is ultimately a bit of a disappointment that never really makes up its mind whether it's pop or experimental in tone, and doesn’t successfully bridge the gap between the two.

Set opener “Anymore” promises interesting things, its cold and metallic sound propelled with a subliminal house beat that brings to mind Death In Vegas’s recent collaborations with Sasha Grey, while “Tigerman” plays like a spaced-out electro torch song. However, as one tune flows into another, Alison Goldfrapp’s breathy and floaty vocals, paired with Will Gregory’s cold and stand-offish sounds and ambient washes, feel noticeably in need of a decent tune to engage the listener.

Things do perk up a bit towards the end of the album with the minimalist disco of “Everything Is Never Enough” and the pulsating, down-tempo groove of “Moon in Your Mouth”. During the album’s final tune, Goldfrapp even finally turn off the Thereza Bazar vocal effects and lift things up with a more engaging pulse. However, it’s all too little, too late. The closing song “Ocean” might easily be the anonymous soundtrack to a car advert, but nonetheless benefits considerably by comparison with much of the rest of the album.


I wouldn't be as quick as this reviewer to dismiss this album. Goldfrapp continues to do what they do best, confound the critics and please their fans in the process.The music is not meant to be appreciated after one listen, though really takes several listens to appreciate the many layers and atmospheres they conjure with each song. If you have enjoyed Gsldfrapp at some point in the past, whether their more uptempo electro or folk-noire style, I recommend you give this album a chance. Most likely you will find something here you really like.

Is it pop or experimental? Does it really matter? Does it have to be just one of those? Music doesn't have to be one dimensional and Goldfrapp have always made music that can be catchy and unique at the same time.

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