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4.6 out of 5 stars80
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 7 May 2003
Maybe I've been playing too much Vice City recently, but I love this album. This is a complete change in direction from the last album, which was heart-stoppingly beautiful, and pretty much took up where Portishead left off. The reason my Vice CIty playing is to blame for my liking this album is that they now seem to be inhabiting the synth world that time forgot. I guess the closest comparison would be with Moloko, with Donna Summer thrown in for good measure: "Strict Machine" has "I Feel Love" written all over it, and makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.
This is my candidate for summer album of the year - her voice has the same effect on me as the singer from Portishead, and it's just the perfect soundtrack for being louche in the heat by the beach, as well as an antidote to having your ears polluted by the Euro-Disco that everyone feels compelled to listen to when the temperature rises.
Another gold star on the fridge for Alison.
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VINE VOICEon 18 June 2003
I'm a relative newcomer to Ms Goldfrapp, knowing only the delightfully semi-comatose singles from the first album. What a contrast then to see her perform Train on Jools Holland - a pounding thrash of electronic noises with a taunting and tantalising voice to entice. But for comfort, there was still the languid Black Cherry (song), cool as a summer breeze.
When you stretch out the effect over a whole album, there appear to be two gears to Goldfrapp. A little more subtlety and variety might suit her style, though I suspect her voice may not have the range to compete against the best. Could become irritatingly twee on an extended excursion.
This is not to denigrate Black Cherry - it's entertaining and thoroughly competent with some good hook lines (Twist might be a future single), if not emotionally involving. A good blast of feeling might help - though I suspect Ms G might prefer to retain her mystique instead.
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on 29 April 2003
Felt mountain has been my favourite album for around two years now, and after hearing the new live tracks on their last tour, I was expecting more of the same from Black Cherry. The title track, deep honey and hairy trees do have the same lush strings and mountain range ambiance as felt mountain, but are actually the weakest tracks. What remains is stomping, glam-rock electronica, twisted vocals and big beats! The vocals are less weimar and more kylie-gone-bad! Twist is such a cool pop song- think one of the minogue sisters duetting with aphex twin and singing about oral sex. Stand out tracks are train, strict machine and tiptoe. The impossible has happened- felt mountain avalanched x
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One modern band who defy the laws of gravity; those being the dilution of taste into small components of sucre, sodium glutamate and sodium chloride that melt in the mouth and then... are gone....puff...as the post punk nova cools across the eons. Music has since just become....bland...

From the deft wistful openings to the harsher disco club orientate, this beats with a soft echoing pulse bringing to the night air a certain whiff of jouisssance, the rhythms of the dance floor, a dry verve of body heat, sweat of pheromones and a heavy musk powdering the air with frission.

Combining different forms of female sexuality, coquettish, vamp and alluring with one red nail painted finger this caresses, teases, preens and vaults over anything produced over the past twenty years. Shoots far above the mundanity of Gaga, Madonna, Cole, Burke etc so much higher in the stratos. Clearly they have all heard this and decided to copy a watered down Primark as opposed to this Parisian strutwalk. Only Madonna's Vogue can be seen as a serious competitor in the mainstream erotica arena, her best piece of sexual fetish ever produced. No wonder it was her worst selling...that's modern taste.

Meanwhile this bumps along to 70's Glitter rhythms combined with Space Magic Fly technology updating them to a modern era devoid of any tinge of constraint, Alison lets its all fly in the face of a never ending future of the non stop party of cooing ecstasy. Custom built on the engines of the experimento's of new wave this takes the gleaming chrome of Kraftwerk and makes it feminime warmth, an ideal type of feminimity soft without being mushy the opposite of ice cold masculine deutsch.

Transcending the dance floor it then shifts to thinkers as well body shape movers, sexual fetish latex type dreamers as the highly developed electroid backing brings the fizz, pop and bubble of making it all human.

A fantastic record full of bump grind as the euro beat dances on the edges of time. Before she paints pictures of glittering shimmering stars with a slightly Lynchian dystopia. This edges upwards and raises Goldfrapp way above the mortals waving down below. Floating silently in orbit with Bjork, two artists who have transcended to the heights so far above the ants crawling in the valley who cannot see the greatness of transcendence.

A beautiful piece of erotic cream pie follow by a bottle of lupine lust.
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on 12 May 2005
I discovered Goldfrapp completely by accident when I went to see Massive Attack do a homecoming open air gig in Queens Square, Bristol. Goldfrapp were on the support list and I was simply awestruck by a superb stage performance of the complete Black Cherry playlist (they made co-support act The Streets look like a bunch of inept schoolkids). Goldfrapp are a superb band but almost so good that you dont want them to be too successful and go populist in their approach.... you kinda want them to remain a well kept secret in some sort of inverse snobbery and aloof way. I bought Black Cherry the very next day, droned on about them to all my mates and have made numerous converts. I am told that their first album is even better ... but dont let other comments lead you to think this one isnt good ... its a cracker!
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on 16 May 2003
What a fantastic album.
Previously known as an electronic / chill out band, Goldfrapp return with an incredible new album, and a change of direction.
Still electronic, and still with incredible vocals, the music has some dirty, grindy beats, more dance than chill!
However, there are still some sumptuous chilled trax to keep fans of the old style happy.
Gorgeous...
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on 16 December 2003
I've not heard Felt Mountain. Maybe I should, but just now, I am hooked on the marvellous album... and just can't get away. Not that I want to.
Alison Goldfrapp has a cracking voice which she samples and plays around with in the background. She and Will Gregory provide slick, professional production, which manages not to steal any of the loveliness of the music. The strings and synths are skilfully used so they're not too overpowering.
And as for the lyrics... :o) After a couple of listens to album peak, "Twist", it's time for a cold shower and a lie-down. Very sexy... which is probably why I haven't been able to draw myself away and listen to Felt Mountain yet!
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VINE VOICEon 18 August 2003
Not being the sort of person who is easily seduced by singer songwriter types I was, however, totally blown away by a TV airing of Strict Machine and immediately ordered the album. On first listen I immediately knew I was in the presence of something special.
It’s hard to put your finger on exactly what it is that makes Black Cherry such a great album. Is it the sleazy, grinding synth sounds? The digital heaviness which at times calls to mind the Nine Inch Nails at their best? Or perhaps the beautifully arranged string instruments which carve out immediately memorable melodies in the background? Maybe it’s all of these things? All of these things combined with the fact that A.G.’s voice is loaded with such dark and erotic intrigue that it is almost irresistable.

As you would expect for an album cobbled together principally by two dues paid musicians, the arrangements on Black Cherry are never short of technically eloquent. One half of the musical partnership being Portishead collaborator Will Gregory comes as no surprise when you hear the style with which the more traditional instruments are fused to the supra-modern sounding keyboard blips and squelches. Connections aside Goldfrapp sound nothing like Portishead. Their work on this album is somehow more immediate and less cold and haughty than the Head.
There is a hefty streak of pop alongside the rock on Black Cherry and during cuts like Train and Strict Machine (the album’s two hit singles) the tip of the hat to the likes of Blondie and Donna Summer are undeniable. But theres more... This album fits into that trans genre appeal group filled by bands like Prodigy and the Chemical Brothers. You will feel this in no small measure as the surging intensity at the end of Crystalline Green gives way to the crunch and grind of Train before climaxing into the airy summertime of the album’s title track.
It’s a short, sweet album and leaves you wanting more. It’s aggressive yet friendly, sleazy yet pure. This one is a future classic, make no mistake about it.
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on 1 April 2003
I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of this album and I have to admit on first listen I felt a bit let down. I was a massive fan of their first album Felt Mountain, and saw them live at two excellent gigs in London. Having said that, after listening to this a few times it is definitely growing on me.
Right from the start you'll realise how different this is, from the electronic pop of 'Crystalline Green' on to the rhythmic buzz of 'Train'. 'Black Cherry' the title track has quite an emotional feel, with soft beats, electronic effects and strings. 'Tiptoe' gives us some bleeps that sound like they could have come from an old arcade machine coupled with a thumping rhythm and Allison singing about as low as she can. 'Deep Honey' is a about as close to Felt Mountain as they have ventured on this record. The bizarrely titled 'Hairy Trees' is a trippy little number where Allison sings about sunshine, rainbows and mountains. Next up is 'Twist' which sounds like the illegitimate offspring of Garbage & Kylie Minogue. There's a definite Glam Rock feel to 'Strict Machine', with Allison insisting that "I'm love with your strict machine". The album winds up with 'Forever', a ballad, and 'Slippage' an instrumental in the same vein as the title track of the previous album (ie. Allison lends her vocal talents without actually singing a word).
Allison's sultry voice is still in evidence throughout but she has lost some of that breathy quality that worked so well on tracks such as 'Pilots'. Overall their sound has moved from a warm jazzy sound, to an electronic pop. If you were looking forward to Felt Mountain 2 then think twice - but don't entirely rule it out, it is quite nice when a band chooses to take a few risks and do something a little different.
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on 25 July 2005
welll, after hearing strict machine on TOTP i thought i would go out and buy the single. loving that, i bought this album. it doesn't have a single duff track on in. i still listen to strict machine alot, even now. stand out tracks have to be forever, a gentle dance track, maybe a bit like the songs rom felt mountain, but without strings. slippage, a dark and dirty little number with incredibly breathy vocals. crystilline green, a great sing along track , and of course train and strict machine. love it. try it. you'll see!
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