Goldfrapp's latest, Tales of Us, (out tomorrow on Mute) is their sixth LP, and is somewhat a return to form for the British duo. Its slow, luxurious feel has more in common with the velvety soundscapes of Felt Mountain and Seventh Tree, which is great news for those of us who didn’t love the ’80s aerobics class vibes of 2010’s Head First. Nine of the 10 songs assembled here are named for a person, with each one telling its own suspenseful story. Songs like “Drew” and “Thea” pick up the pace a little, but their rhythms are still quite moderate. Of course, one of the group’s hallmarks is Alison Goldfrapp’s sensuous, soothing voice, which reaches its utmost ethereal peak here with Will Gregory’s hallucinatory arrangements as accompaniment. The album also has an extremely cinematic quality, and the influence of great film composers like Angelo Badalamenti and Ennio Morricone looms large. All in all, Tales of Us is the most intimate, evocative, and captivating work Goldfrapp has ever done. [Michael Levine]
Speaking of cinematic, the film maker Lisa Gunner has created shorts to accompany each song on the album, and this one, for "Annabel" is incredibly moving.
You can catch Goldfrapp in NYC this Tuesday nite, tickets are still available here.