Alison Goldfrapp first gained notoriety for her astonishing vocal work on albums by Tricky and techno duo Orbital. She joined forces with composer Will Gregory in the late 1990s to create her own moody, sensual version of contemporary electronica. With a succession of critically lauded albums, the duo honed their approach and utilized an assortment of influences ranging from traditional soundtrack themes and vintage pop to '80s synth sounds, disco, and glam rock to create one of the most intriguing and satisfying electronica hybrids to emerge from the genre since its inception.
2003 album follows their debut Felt Mountain, Black Cherry is a Moroder meets Morricone affair, sexually explicit with a dancefloor electro flavor. 10 tracks. Mute.
Goldfrapp's Black Cherry inhabits a dark alley, bristling with urban menace and throbbing with a deep electronic pulse--a far cry from their breezy debut, which gently led the listener to a fairytale aural utopia occupied by Parisian pop, whistling divas and baroque masters. Having given up the countryside for a neon-lit studio, Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory have infused Black Cherry with an intensity and brooding claustrophobia that's both exuberant and sensual. Simultaneously mellifluous and mechanical, tracks such as "Train," with its fiery industrial rhythm, steer Goldfrapp dangerously close to the ailing electro-clash scene, before veering back to more familiar territory with the likes of the sultry, downbeat "Black Cherry" and languid dreamy ambience of "Forever." Elsewhere our Hampshire-bred heroine gets deep down and dirty on "Twist," an ode to oral that finds Goldfrapp waxing lyrical to a fierce driving Kraftewerk-esque synth. No Felt Mountain to get lost in, but at least there's "Hairy Trees" to make up for it. --Christopher Barrett
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