Alison Goldfrapp is not afraid of reinventing herself. After the atmospheric, film score lushness of Felt Mountain came Black Cherry and Supernature, two albums of glam-rock infused pop which sounded like the bastard lovechild of Mark Bolan and Kylie. So, what to expect of this fourth studio album? Well, it's something much closer to their debut. With her musical partner Will Gregory she has created an album of folk inspired, summer tinged loveliness which is sure to warm the hearts of many.
The change in style is clear from the start. Opener Clowns begins with acoustic guitar, strings and Goldfrapp's voice sounding like Beth Gibbons on her Out Of Season album. I've got no idea what she's singing but it sounds great and as the birdsong comes in I'm already longing for golden-hued summer evenings. Elsewhere there are John Barry like strings, Beatles-esque psychedelia and more nonsensical lyrics sung in a vaguely Kate Bush style. First single A&E is strangely catchy and would have served as a brilliant theme tune to the ITV medical series of the same name a few years ago. Things gather pace with Caravan Girl, a galloping slice of pop but best of the bunch on the first few listens is Cologne Cerrone Houdini, a glorious Serge Gainsbourgh number sung in a breathy Mitteleuropean accent.
All in all a hugely enjoyable album with much more soul and emotion than the previous two, beautiful melodies, lush orchestration and a great soundtrack to the summer (should it ever arrive).
Goldfrapp - Cologne Cerrone Houdini