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4.5 out of 5 stars207
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 22 October 2013
I have been a Goldfrapp fan since a magazine article stirred my curiosity and I bought her first album, Felt Mountain. Since then she has gone through many changes but nothing, in my opinion, matched the juxtaposition of cinematic grandeur and intimacy.
I am glad to say she has gone full circle and this is her best LP yet. The songs are simple with beautiful vocals and lovely acoustic guitar. All this is overplayed by a well orchestrated string section. I think this is best enjoyed on vinyl and the a-side is sublime.
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on 29 January 2014
I was a bit worried she was off her game with Head First - the only one of her albums I don't own. A quick listen on itunes sounded a bit weak and samey but I bought it anyway and I'm so glad I did.
It takes a couple of listens but it turns into one of the most gorgeous albums I've bought in the last decade. I bought Emiliana Torrini's Tookah and Anna Calvi's One Breath at around the same time and they are also wonderful. We really are spoilt for female vocals at the moment.
Not a duff track on the whole thing.
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on 16 January 2014
I'm new to Goldfrapp, indeed hadn't really even heard of them before and bought this cd on impulse as it was in my Amazon Recommendations and, having read the other reviews, it seemed worth a gamble. I've loved it almost from the first single note and continue to love it after many plays. It goes against the tenor of everyday life in such a haunting yet beautiful way. For anyone else there new to Goldfrapp and wondering whether to take the plunge, I can't recommend this highly enough.
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on 14 January 2014
It arrived earlier than expected (just before Christmas) and included a cd in addition to the vinyl album which was an added bonus. Great album full of haunting but sweet melodies.
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on 4 December 2015
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.)

Alison has a beautiful voice and, considering her wide range of albums, can obviously use it however she likes. I like the more experimental instrumentals and purity of Felt Mountain, these qualities are present on Tales of Us. Playing Felt Mountain again it's amazing how accomplished it is regardless of whether it's a first album.

I couldn't say that Tales of Us is stronger than Felt Mountain (as FM reaches its pinnacle perfectly). Tales of Us is perhaps more cohesive and 'more mature' (but 'mature' can be such an immature term regarding music).

Goldfrapp are also great live. When Alvar was played, the strings got more and more pronounced - a frenzy, almost anarchic with their twists; the beauty always keeping them in control. Such contrast in power and beauty is amazing to achieve, fantastic to hear. Yet this happens often on Felt Mountain and Tales of Us. Another track, also great live is Thea, the percussion is loud like constant punches, but Alison's voice, pure, isn't fragile and demands more attention than the drum.

(Felt Mountain still offers the more rarified of aria. . . )
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on 21 December 2013
If you're a fan of Alison's vocal style and in need of the ultimate in soothing chill-out, this album is nirvana. Although I can only discern about 2 words in 10, it doesn't seem to really matter. Just immerse yourself in this warm bath of sheer ecstasy, and allow yourself to drift off on a tide of gorgeousness. Each track flows seamlessly into the next and they're all simply stunning. What a joy !
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VINE VOICEon 31 October 2013
I am completely in love with this record. I have always liked Goldfrapp a lot but felt they always had the potential to produce a masterpiece which would reach down to a deeper sound. Well this is it! I really don't think there is a bad tack on this record. My particular faves are 'Jo', 'Drew', 'Thea' and 'Stranger' but then I am a sucker for strings and melancholy.

Every time I play this record I find something new in it. It is very obvious that an enormous amount of time and effort has gone into producing a record that has a real depth in the songwriting and a huge amount of ingenuity in terms of the interplay between different instruments and the vocals. It's also clear that Goldfrapp live these songs and believe in the people who poplulate the songs. You can't produce something like this without fully believing in it. I was going to originally say that this is the ultimate late evening record but that cheapens what it really is. It's a piece of dark and beautiful brilliance where the personalities really beam out of each song. As I say, it's easily my album of the year. Just truly stunning.
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on 3 February 2014
Sometimes a GF album really works for me, sometimes it doesn't. I like the way they vary the music, even if sometimes I don't like the result. Their first album and 7th Tree are two of my all time favourites - and this one fits in well with them. It starts better than it finishes but I often listen to it right through and enjoy it so that suggests that it is good enough for most GF fans.
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on 17 October 2014
One of my favourite albums for this genre and this is as good as their first album. I hope they do more good stuff like this. They use different sounds and styles from different eras of the last few decades. Perfectly arranged, finely crafted songs. It is sensual, romantic, and beautifully melancholic. I think it is top class music for people with taste and musical inclination.
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on 9 September 2013
I say buy it in Autumn for the same reason I believe that Seventh Tree should also be purchased in Autumn- the perfect season for this album, and will become synonymous with the time of year. However, whereas Seventh Tree is ideal listening for strolling through the autumn foliage in the countryside on a clear autumn day, Tales of Us is very much late-night listening.

Now, Goldfrapp are my favourite band, without a doubt. All six of their albums are works of genius, and the fact that S.T. is my favourite with Head First right behind it shows that I love both their synth-heavy pop brilliance and also their folkier and more acoustic side equally.

Tales of Us is certainly their saddest album to date in terms of lyrics and music; however, that makes it none the less beautiful.

Goldfrapp's lyrics on Tales Of Us are without a doubt her most mature and sophisticated to date. Songs such as Jo and Laurel are beautifully scripted and each song has a wonderful narrative- perhaps because each track is named after a person, with the exception of Stranger, therefore telling a story.

There are happy moments on the album, such as with Drew and Clay, but there is a definite eeriness that runs through Tales of Us, punctuated my sheer moments of chilling instrumentation that will give you goosebumps.

With each album Goldfrapp make, they will gain and lose fans. And indeed, fans that tuned out for Seventh Tree after getting into them during the Black Cherry/Supernature era and then welcomed Head First in 2010, will, no doubt, be giving this one a miss and will wait for Frapp's next pop offering.

Similarly, original fans of the Felt Mountain era will think that their prayers have been answered with Tales of Us.

Stand-out tracks for me are:
Jo- for me, the saddest but possibly the most moving of the songs, which deals with heartbreak, loneliness and moving on (my interpretation)
Alvar- The shrill acoustic guitar in this song will send shivers down your spine no matter how many times you hear it, as will Alison's equally shrill and high warbles.
Thea- again, Alison's shrill and panting vocals give me the chills, as does the violent, drum-led chorus.
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