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Tales Of Us
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Tales of Us is certainly nothing like 70-esque electro-glam of Black Cherry and Supernature many Goldfrapp fans are familiar with. For the record, I adore both those albums as well (ie, I'm no jaded Felt Mountain blowhard). But long time Goldfrapp fans should embrace Will and Alison's return to down-tempo, especially after the (IMHO) dreadful 80s experimentation with Head First. Alison's voice simply doesn't lend itself to 80s pop. It works for electro-glam. But there's no voice more perfectly suited for melancholy. Welcome home, Goldfrapp.
If you're looking for another "Supernature" than this album wasn't made for you. I don't really get why people get confused or shocked when Goldfrapp reinvents themselves and produces a sound so different from their more widely-known releases. That is one of the greatest stengths of this musical duo. They're so incredibly versatile and have talent and imagination beyond the scope of what people usually expect from musicians these days.
That said, I appreciate the fact that they don't stick to some formula that appeals to mainstream audiences. Leaving behind the tribute to chunky uplifting 80's synthpop in "Head First", Goldfrapp returns with "Tales of Us" a cinematic dreamscape of hushed tones, soft pianos, rushing strings, and moody synths. It's not as disjointed and lively as "Felt Mountain" and not as warm and mercurial as "Seventh Tree" but it's a still return to form in a way. A return to sophistication and sensuality. Although, this time, in a much darker tone. The cover itself is the moodiest yet with Allison walking away from a collection of headlights hunched over as if she doesn't even want to be seen.
This albums is a fascinating collection of stories all accompanied by mononym titles with the exception of the curiously titled "Stranger". It opens with "Jo" a mysterious lullaby about murder peppered with a piano that sounds somewhat like raindrops. "Annabel" follows a young boy exploring gender identity through his dreams. The livelier but distant "Drew", a song that I took as a man reminiscing about an orgy, features Alison practically sighing as she sings "feel the cold arrive in my bones".Read more ›
First, this album is not Felt Mountain (it is "Tales of Us").
If you want to listen to Felt Mountain, listen to Felt Mountain (because Felt Mountain is Felt Mountain).
This album is haunting and dreamy and all the rest that everyone else here has already said.
It plunges into disturbing depths of sickening betrayal, personal anguish, intense longing. Then at times there's a hungry, wanton energy - but never does it break completely free of a psychological weight that pulls at you.
I felt a kind of twisting, akin to nausea, after the first few listenings. The music/lyrics/themes vaguely remind you of something... you felt before... a long time ago...
what was it?...
This is quintessential Goldfrapp. No matter what, you never feel NOTHING. Alison doesn't do cotton candy. She doesn't do happy-go-lucky pop. She's not trendy (but is trend-setting, IMO). She's not serving her fans music on a platter. She's more a chef willing to let you taste her creations.
The album a work of art - not so much a grouping of entertaining little jigs / pop singles. You don't play this at a Bar-B-Que for your friends. Its very personal and it makes you FEEL a certain way. Not every piece of art is for everyone, but if you are a fan of Goldfrapp you will not be disappointed. I absolutely disagree with whoever said that "none of the lyrics stand out and grab you" ---- "Simone" simply kills me (about a daughter who betrays her mother by sleeping with mother's lover): haunting, sinister, gut-wrenching. The mixture of melancholy and anxiety in "Jo" takes me to a dark place that you sunshine and unicorns to pull out of.Read more ›
In a recent interview I read with Alison Goldrapp, she discussed how each song is the story of mostly a female character except for "Alvar" and "Clay" which are tracks inspired by the male experience. "Clay" was inspired by a love letter, Alison read online somewhere, that was written by a soldier to another soldier and "Alvar" was inspired by european cinema, noir, Iceland and myths and legends of Philomena Lee.
Ultimately, this is the type of music you listen to at an art exhibit or possibly with the lights off at home. I promise you will feel transported.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a wonderful album, finally: something on par with Felt Mountain. The middle albums weren't for me. (Seventh Tree was a brief respite. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Maxalbert
It’s true that relationships can change you and in this case Alison is now partnered with another woman, more specifically a film director, who was the inspiration for this album. Read morePublished 9 months ago by isaac heimmler
Absolutly love this album. Not one bad tune, and a few exceptional works of art.Published 11 months ago by Le Capitaine