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Friday, March 19, 2010

Track-by-Track: Goldfrapp - Head First

I love that all these artists are finally rediscovering what I call the "Van Halen synth." Goldfrapp change directions pretty drastically between albums and this is my favorite iteration yet. I only wish every song adhered to the upbeat synthpop of first single Rocket.

1. Rocket - One of their best singles to date, this puts a smile on my face every time I hear it. From the bubbling synths to the simple, cheeky chorus, it's a reinvention and kicks the album off in the best possible way. 10/10

2. Believer - A little more subdued than the last track, this is still a totally impressive pastiche of 80's synthpop. It feels more like some of their older stuff. 9/10

3. Alive - My favorite track on the album. It's a mix of ELO, Scissor Sisters and every cheesy 80's musical out there. It's one of the only tracks to feature guitar prominently and feels meatier for it. Plus, the sparkling sound effects after the chorus are pretty ballsy. 10/10

4. Dreaming - Another very 80's sounding song. It's sort of a midtempo verging on uptempo with a fantastic moody melody. There's a stunning instrumental outro as well. 9/10

5. Head First - This feels very Abba in some parts. It's the first track resembling a ballad and manages to be both dreamlike and folksy at the same time. There are some gorgeous, sweeping synths throughout. 9/10

6. Hunt - This one, which would be a standout on other Goldfrapp albums, suffers because it doesn't fit tonally with the rest of the tracks. It's not a bad song, for sure, but changes the energy of the album. 8/10

7. Shiny And Warm - More uptempo, but it lacks a hook that's as strong as the other tracks. It feels more like a leftover from a few years ago than a new track. Again, it clashes with the rest of the album. 7/10

8. I Wanna Life - Here we're back to the straight-up 80's sound, which makes me think that this would have fit better towards the beginning of the album. It sticks out like a sore thumb after the previous two tracks. It's a very welcome change. 10/10

9. Voicething - A very pretty sound collage with vocals but no lyrics. It's a beautiful closer to the album, though I can't say that it adds much to the overall package. 8/10

Album Grade: 8.9/10

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Blogger Myfizzypop said...

i've never really invested much time in Goldfrapp but I want to and I think that's the important thing :P Some of the songs on here sound lush (from your review) so I really should put down some of the crap I listen to and give it a go...

2:27 AM  
Blogger D'luv said...

I really love the album. I think "I Wanna Life" is my favorite, with "Alive", "Believer", and "Rocket" coming close second, etc.

I think "Alive" even has shades of Supertramp, with the keyboard/organ-type sound at the beginning.

9:16 AM  
Anonymous Jes said...

It's cool music, but I can't really get into it, cause I feel like she has no energy in her voice.

I feel like I should lay down and take a nap--rather than get up and dance, you know!

11:02 AM  
Anonymous ArkArmy said...

Just listened to the full album on MySpace. Really lovin' it after the first listen. Good stuff.

4:14 PM  
Anonymous sara said...

she's beautiful and attractive, I'm a big fan of hers, best wishes to her

7:47 PM  
Anonymous alex said...

"I Wanna Life" is a new favourite of mine! It's so festive I just want to bounce up & down

9:55 AM  

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