Goldfrapp; Nick Batt; Alison Goldfrapp; Will Gregory
Goldfrapp; Alison Goldfrapp; Will Gregory
Number of Discs
42m : 57s
Album Notes and Credits
Goldfrapp: Alison Goldfrapp, Will Gregory.
Additional personnel: Adrian Utley (guitar, bass); Andy Davis (guitar); Mark Linkous (synthesizer); Charlie Jones (bass); Rowen Oliver (drums, percussion); Damon Reece (drums); Nick Batt, Rowan Oliver (programming).
Personnel: Allison Goldfrapp (vocals, synthesizer); Adrian Utley, Andy Davis (guitar); Nick Batt (synthesizer, programming); Will Gregory (synthesizer); Rowan Oliver (drums, percussion, drum programming); Damon Reece (drums).
Audio Mixers: Tom Elmhirst; Dave Bascombe; Allison Goldfrapp; Steve Orchard; Will Gregory.
Recording information: AIR (2002).
Illustrator: Big Active.
Photographer: Polly Borland.
Arrangers: Allison Goldfrapp; Will Gregory.
A striking departure from Goldfrapp's well-received, cinematically atmospheric debut, FELT MOUNTAIN, 2003's BLACK CHERRY finds the British electronica duo cutting loose with a more energetic and dynamic set. The approach allows vocalist Alison Goldfrapp to indulge her inner Debbie Harry, while multi-instrumentalist Will Gregory playfully nods to 1980s synth-pop on saucy, percolating tunes such as "Crystalline Green" and "Train." Though many of BLACK CHERRY's tracks are geared toward the dance floor, particularly the glam-tinged "Strict Machine," the record still has relaxed moments, including the gorgeously swooning title track and the wonderfully dreamy "Deep Honey." Adding texture to the mix are top-notch auxiliary musicians, most notably Sparklehorse's Mark Linkous on synthesizer and Portishead's Adrian Utley on guitar and bass, resulting in a surprisingly layered album that truly works its magic with repeated listens. For those enamored of the group's club-friendly direction, Goldfrapp would proceed down a strobe-lit alley even further on this disc's follow-up, SUPERNATURE.
Alison Goldfrapp first gained recognition for her astonishing vocal work on albums by Tricky and techno duo Orbital. She joined forces with composer Will Gregory in the late '90s to create her own moody, sensual version of contemporary electronica. With a succession of critically lauded albums, the duo honed its approach and utilized an assortment of influences ranging from traditional soundtrack themes and vintage pop to '80s synth sounds, disco, and glam rock to create one of the most intriguing and satisfying electronica hybrids to emerge from the genre since its inception.
Rolling Stone (5/15/03, p.134) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...Both retro and futuristic, like vintage synth pop heard through a wall of disortion..."
Spin (5/03, p.116) - "...Singer Alison Goldfrapp still wails like Kate Bush haunting a fog-soaked moor..." - Grade: B
Q (01/01/04, p.76) - Ranked #35 in Q's "The 50 Best Albums of 2003" - "[T]his is plump, overripe music that squelches and squeals deliciously."
Uncut (01/04, pp.84-7) - Ranked #34 in Uncut's "Albums Of The Year 2003"
Uncut (6/03, p.98) - 5 stars out of 5 - "...Electro-funky and headily lovely, 'Crystalline Green' is just one of the album's several masterpieces..."
Magnet (4/03, p.88) - "...The synths are dank and gloomy, and Goldfrapp's sad-girl voice sounds suitably disembodied and ethereal..."
CMJ (5/503, p.10) - "...The mesmerizing arctic chill of FELT MOUNTAIN is gone, replaced instead with the leather, mascara, beats and muscle of BLACK CHERRY..."
Mojo (Publisher) (5/03, p.91) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...[Goldfrapp] possess a masterful ear for stirring melodies, a healthy carnality and a furtive sense of humour that makes for rich, three-dimensional, six-sensual pop music that raises them high above many contemporaries..."