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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Uplifting Electro-Pop That Puts a Grin on Your Face
I have been a fan of Goldfrapp for many years. They flit between uptempo electro-pop albums, like this one, and slower paced guitar based torch song albums. I've often thought of the lead singer as the female equivalent of Marc Almond, not in terms of technique or range, but in the sense that the two of them sing from the heart and bare their souls. This is an ecstatic...
Published 2 months ago by Bill Mason

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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Goldfrapp having fun - at least for the first few songs
I'm really beginning to think of Goldfrapp as a latterday David Bowie with the same chameleon-like qualities for reinventing themselves every album or so, due to either Will reprogramming his synths or Alison tiring of her current wardrobe. Like Bowie, Goldfrapp are proving themselves to be very adept at taking a particular musical genre and sprinkling it with stardust to...
Published on 22 Mar 2010 by Eladjouf


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Uplifting Electro-Pop That Puts a Grin on Your Face, 21 July 2014
By 
Bill Mason (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Head First (Audio CD)
I have been a fan of Goldfrapp for many years. They flit between uptempo electro-pop albums, like this one, and slower paced guitar based torch song albums. I've often thought of the lead singer as the female equivalent of Marc Almond, not in terms of technique or range, but in the sense that the two of them sing from the heart and bare their souls. This is an ecstatic and happy collection of first rate electro-pop, the sort of music that puts a spring in your step. I have all the Goldfrapp albums and watched them live at the Reading Hexagon Theatre in April 2014 when, disappointingly, they overlooked tracks from this album in favour of their latest release. I rate this music as the peak achievement of Goldfrapp, though many of their fans prefer their more soulful and introspective acoustic works. Some berate this album as a sophisticated form of Abba, or a girly pastiche of Pet Shop Boys, but I don't see that as a negative. If Goldfrapp are producing tracks which can stick in the head like the best of Pet Shop Boys' or Abba's work, so what? That's a good thing isn't it? There is a lot of drudgery in life, and if music like this can lift the gloom for 40 minutes, more power to Goldfrapp's elbow.
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60 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some kind of wonderful, 22 Mar 2010
By 
G. Thomas (Canterbury UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Head First (Audio CD)
When I first heard the single "Rocket" I was horrified. It was played one afternoon while I was at work. "Rocket" came on the radio and I immediately accused a colleague of changing the channel from 6Music to Radio2. As I listened further I began to recognise the voice but didn't want to believe that it was actually Goldfrapp. My mind filled with images of Van Halen's "Jump", Starship and other equally big-haired US west-coast MOR acts who blighted my formative years.

Investigating further I discovered that the whole album was a trip back to many different sounds from the 80s and suddenly "Rocket" was in context and my previous shortsightedness melted away. Even though it happens to me every time they release a new album I had fallen into the same old trap which seems to define my relationship with the music of Goldfrapp. I realise this is part of their appeal and I do know they change their sound every album but I seemingly just need to be wrong-footed every time in order to appreciate it.

Any personal prejudice I may have about (some of) that 80's sound is totally irrelevant because Goldfrapp make it their own. I can almost understand why some may initially dismiss this album as lightweight or lazy but remember this is Goldfrapp and they just don't do lazy. I think the confusion arises because they manage to make it all sound so effortless which, somewhat ironically, actually takes a lot of hard work and talent to achieve.
Listen again and listen with an open mind. The tracks on "Head First" may be fizzy 80's pop on the surface but they are also typically warm and lush and slightly unusual in that singular and distinctive way that Goldfrapp do so well. Apart from the obvious musical similarities like Abba and Olivia Newton-John I also hear Depeche Mode, Laurie Anderson, OMD, Japan and other acts that I loved.....

....and there you have it.....

Another wildly eclectic album from Goldfrapp which stretches my mind-music-muscle into new exciting shapes and takes me places I never thought I wanted to go, whereupon I find it's actually somewhere pretty wonderful.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Golden Goldfrapp do it again!!!, 18 May 2010
By 
Mr. Anthony Moses (DURHAM United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
So why would this bloke buy vinyl in this digital age. The most obvious reason is you can appreciate the cover artwork more and you get a nice Goldfrapp poster in a beautifully produced sleeve. The album itself is 180g vinyl so there's none of that vintage snap, crackle and pop. However, my main reason for buying `Head First' on vinyl was the disappointing sound quality on `Supernature'. For me Supernature had excellent songs spoilt by overdriven sound levels leading to compressed dynamic range that gave this album a harsh, tiring sound. For example the violins of the sumptuous `Time out from the World' sound harsh and gritty when they should have been honey smooth. On taking off my music anorak I need not have worried. The sound quality of both vinyl and CD versions of Head First is as excellent as all the `Frappers other albums. The vinyl version sounds more lush and smooth with wonderful spacious mid-range while the CD is clean, fast and punchy. Alison's voice sounds wonderfully seductive regardless.
On first listen to Head First with my audiophile anorak off I found I still had my `music snob' hat on. Finding, as some other reviewers did, songs that sounded uncharacteristically derivative and predictable. All those seventies and eighties references where there with the first three tracks sounding like `Blondie joins Human League' while the title track wouldn't sound out of place on an Abba album. However, on repeated listening the penny starts to drop as you realise they are being unpredictable, I for one didn't think they would follow the lyrical, almost folky `Seventh Tree' with eighties infected dance floor fillers! Other reviews have already described individual tracks so I won't, suffice to that if you want more substance then listen to `Dreaming' and the brilliant `Hunt' and `Shiny and Warm' and to round off for `Frapp purists, there's the ingeniously quirky `Voicething'. So overall, yes there are nods to the seventies and eighties but done with such brilliance it really doesn't matter. This is a seriously feel good album - and what can be wrong with that? I play and enjoy listening to every track without skipping any, so that meets my criteria for 5 stars. CD or LP, just buy it - you won't be disappointed!
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5.0 out of 5 stars poptastic, 5 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Head First (Audio CD)
absolutely smashing in every way. an 80s explosion in a modern style with Alison making you feel happy and dancy and smiley. top marks
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Goldfrapp having fun - at least for the first few songs, 22 Mar 2010
By 
This review is from: Head First (Audio CD)
I'm really beginning to think of Goldfrapp as a latterday David Bowie with the same chameleon-like qualities for reinventing themselves every album or so, due to either Will reprogramming his synths or Alison tiring of her current wardrobe. Like Bowie, Goldfrapp are proving themselves to be very adept at taking a particular musical genre and sprinkling it with stardust to produce the genre in their own inimitable style.

This time up Goldfrapp are reinterpreting the eighties and in particular the sound of Euro-pop legends, Abba. But, you can also detect references to Kraftwerk, Laurie Anderson, Vangelis and Giorgio Moroder. The opener, 'Rocket', is a perfect example of the new sound. A great chorus, 'I've got a rocket and you're going on it', backed up with a lush, synth riff. The lyrics possibly refer to the inner thoughts of a jealous woman scorned in a love triangle. The title track, 'Head First' reminds me of `Chiquitita' with it's characteristic Abba, bouncy-piano melody. 'Alive' and 'Believer' are great takes on the swirly synth riffs characterized by Giorgio Moroder.

Goldfrapp stated in an interview recently that they wrote these new songs very quickly and without too much thought of aiming for a particular sound. But, Alison did admit to listening to some late Abba albums including 'Visitors' and listening to this you can detect a similarity between the two albums. (Given that we have only just got over Mamma Mia, surely it isn't time yet for *another* Abba revival!)

Anyway, this album is simply the sound of Goldfrapp having fun and the tracks I've mentioned are very enjoyable and should see Goldfrapp sitting in the charts all summer. But, after these first few good songs the rest of the album quickly fizzles out. I really hope that Goldfrapp didn't have to rush this album out due to record label pressure. There is talk of a Greatest Hits album to be released later this year, so it could be they had to complete this album in advance of this release. If that it true, then it is a great shame as I feel this album could have been so much better.

To those Goldfrapp fans who are unhappy with this album you could console yourself with the thought that perhaps Head First is Goldfrapp's, Rattle&Hum. This was the hugely disappointing album released by U2 after their classic Joshua Tree album. Like Head First, Rattle&Hum was a homage album (to American R&B music) and at the time widely criticised for being self-indulgent, uninspired and in fact, lazy. Stung by this criticism and knowing that they were at risk of becoming marginalised, U2 spent the next three years reinventing themselves and their sound. The result? Achtung Baby - which many consider to be their finest album. So, if you are disappointed with Head First, start looking forward to Goldfrapp's new album in 2013. It could be their best!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Album, 16 Dec 2011
This review is from: Head First (Audio CD)
This album has undoubtedly divided fans, but what is great about Goldfrapp is that their catalogue is so diverse and strong that it's hard for fans to agree on their best work. For me, I love all their albums (apart from Seventh Tree), and Head First is my ultimate favourite. A straight-up unashamed pop album, it shows once again how diverse Goldfrapp are. The production is absolutely impeccable - beautifully layered electronic bleeps and warm synths. Believer, Dreaming and Head First are quite simply stunning, and evoke a sense of nostalgia and euphoria. An absolute masterpiece - can't wait to hear what they'll come up with on their next studio album.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More groups and labels should do this, 25 Jun 2010
By 
Nathan Cullen "Rocha" (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I haven't had this album long, but I am definitely enjoying it. What I am most impressed by, and think is a great idea, is the including of a CD version of the ablum with the vinyl. More groups and labels should insist on this. The album has more of an 80s feel and is less dark than previous albums. Not their best album, but still worth a listen.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Is it an album or an EP?, 27 May 2010
By 
V. Zvyagintsev "Ziggy" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Head First (Audio CD)
Got this album about a week ago and originally gave it a 3 star review. However due to its short length been listening to it non-stop for a few days now and must say it's awesome. Always been a fan of Goldfrapp and recently rediscovered Seventh Tree, which is amazing. Upon first listen Head First gives you a mixed number of feelings, but once the songs start to settle in, I just can't help myself, but love the songs. On the negative side though, there are no stand out songs by itself if you try to find a single one you would enjoy. However, as a body of work altogether it works pretty well. Rocket is great, Alive is another nice song with the catchy chorus. The latter 6 songs are pretty, but a bit generic. My favourite track though is the final one Voicething. At the length of 4.50 mins it's a pure Goldfrapp from start to finish, beautiful and etherial track, more vocalising than a proper song, but mesmerising and beautiful, and ,honestly, a a bit of a shame that the rest of the album doesn't quiet sound like this this one.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Back off! Let them have fun... and let us join them!, 1 April 2010
By 
C. Simmonds (London, EU) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Head First (Audio CD)
Mixed reviews abound.... You can't please everyone... ain't that the truth.. But comments like "they used to lead and now they're following", etc are really missing the point. Goldfrapp hate to repeat themselves and what they have done here is made an album of slick pop songs with catchy, upbeat, feelgood melodies with an 80s nod... They have changed yet again. Another string to their bow and more fun for Alison and Will to have playing live... It's as much for them as it is for us! You can't have "groundbreaking" records every release. This record is about fun! and they do it so much better than anyone else! Let them have their fun... and let us join them on the ride! Where will they take us next??!!
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14 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lazy springs to mind, 15 April 2010
This review is from: Head First (Audio CD)
I've been a long time admirer of Goldfrapp and anticipated the follow up to the excellent Seventh Tree to be a continuation of the versatile sound they have produced over the last 5 albums. But I found, unlike their previous efforts that it washed over me with the first listen. Head first is an extremely short album, which was my first disappointment. The 9 tracks which have now become customary from many lazy artists and greedy labels is a bug bear of mine, but I don't think track 9 really counts as anything more than an outro on this record as it has little substance.

I was prepared and up for listening to an 80's groove from Goldfrapp, but I find this really unfulfilling. The second and third listens produced the same effect, I found myself struggling to remember any of the excellent sound changes or vocal highlights usually on offer when I got to the end. The production offers very little to the emotive response of the listener which for me makes this album little more than good background music.

Overall, with lazy lyrics and simple production, I get the impression that they made this album and said 'yeah that'll do.' And to that end it doesn't stand anywhere near the brilliance Goldfrapp have produced in Black Cherry, Supernature and Seventh tree.

I hope their next album is back to their usual standard.
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