29 November 2013

Black Cherry

Having spent considerable time and effort carving a niche for themselves as creators of soothing, chilled melodies - in fact, having become best known for the track Lovely Head, snapped up by British mobile phone companies for a range of adverts - Black Cherry, the second album by Mute-signed band Goldfrapp came as a bit of a surprise.

From the first, grinding electronic note of Crystalline Green, it was clear that Black Cherry was very, very different to Felt Mountain, something hinted at by Goldfrapp's occasional foray into gritty electronica during their live shows. Disco-dirty versions of Olivia Newton-John's Physical and Baccara's Yes Sir, I Can Boogie - stripped down and instilled with a bizarre, new charm - hinted at Goldfrapp's descent into Dot Allison style territory, a new, synthetic sound that would continue with the third album, Supernature.

Other tracks on the album played with the electronic theme. Train was a perfect tribute to glam rock, but eschewed guitars in favour of rumbling sawtooth synths and a pumping, twisted bass-line. A calmer period followed, in which the title track Black Cherry brought back memories of Felt Mountain's calmer, more ambient feel. The only other track, incidentally, to do this, is Hairy Trees.

And if Train and Crystalline Green weren't enough to convince you of how serious Goldfrapp were about this new direction, then the tracks Twist, Strict Machine and Slippage were bound to cement the idea in your mind. Twist, in particular, was as dirty as Nine Inch Nails' Closer but without the obscenity: a track the tabloids would undoubtedly describe as raunchy - a plain and simple ode to the pleasures of oral sex.

Black Cherry was released by Mute Records on the 28th April, 2003. Wonderful electric...

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