steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion


"Black Cherry" CD

Mute Records

Genres: dance, electronica, dance pop

140 West 22nd St.
Suite 10A
New York NY

Aug 25 - 31 2003

If you loved Felt Mountain, there's probably no doubt you were pissed off when you heard that Goldfrapp's new album, Black Cherry, was a departure into more dancey, poppy material. I think the majority of listeners would have preferred another spacey, delicate record to chill out to. "Dancefloor Goldfrapp" just doesn't sit right.

I'll admit, I thought the same way. But you know what?  Black Cherry ain't half as bad as you would've liked it to be. In fact, these songs aren't so far off from those on Felt Mountain. Underneath all the booty-shaking beats and the funkified vocals lies that very same sense of pristine melody that inhabited tunes like "Deer Stop" and "Lovely Head." Take "Tiptoe," for example. Its lush, danceable exterior is complemented by a "Deer Stop"-esque melody, complete with those beautiful, almost pained vocals. The dancin' never quits, but the melody will win over even the most skeptical fans. The same goes for the bittersweet "Forever," which is perhaps the album's closest link to Goldfrapp's old sound.

Other tracks, meanwhile, go for a more energetic dance flavor. "Twist," for example, is modern disco; it has the type of club catchiness that The Bucketheads' "The Bomb" and Stardust's "Music Sounds Better With You" boasted. "Strict Machine," meanwhile, is instantly infectious; its chorus will make you want to sing along. But you won't, because you're too self-conscious. That's right, I know.

Altogether, Black Cherry is like an amalgamation of dance music and Felt Mountain style electro pop. While it isn't as deliciously dramatic as some fans may like, the added dancefloor oomph might launch Goldfrapp into the club charts. It's a trade-off; there's no reason to mope about it. Stop whining and give Black Cherry a try. You might really like it, as long as you aren't trying not to the whole time.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 10 tracks, distributed by the label, released April 29, 2003]