I really should have trusted Goldfrapp more.
From the genius of Felt Mountain, via the gorgeous Black Cherry to the fantastically stompin' Supernature, they have never let me down.
I've seen them three different times and it's always superb. Their music and their videos always push at boundaries but there I was, having doubts about this album before I'd even heard it.
I guess it was a combination of my expectations and the almost ravenous reception by Radio One of "A&E". I think I kind-of turned off.
The seemingly superficial ballad style of A&E and a host of gushing emails from Jo Whiley's listeners immediately started me on the "sold out" train of thought.
Was I wrong?.. you bet. I guess listening on the workplace-radio didn't do "A&E" justice.
I subsequently heard 2 more tracks "Little Bird" and "Happiness" then saw a late night TV performance.
It's one of those moments in life when you're so glad to be wrong.
Part of what Goldfrapp have, over more pedestrian bands, is a willingness to change, adapt and experiment.
They still have the unique style you already love but it's here in a different form.
All the good things that make Goldfrapp Goldfrapp are there in Seventh Tree you just have to unwrap the new "packaging" and then you'll see it.
Seventh tree is still envelope-pushing, edgy, inspiring, warm, inviting, blissful and retains that glorious oddness that has always defined Goldfrapp for me. Listening to this feels like taking a shower in warm honey whilst having a violent attack of the goosepimples.
Another triumph for re-invention and yet another 5 gold stars for Alison & Will.
on 22 January 2008
Heard this thing as a download on a friend's IPOD. We ordered the hard copy as soon as we heard it. It's a good expanded style of songwriting that takes in "Felt Mountain" and their more glam experiments. Good work MUTE for leaking this ahead of its release to create a buzz for the album. To all record execs, learn from this.....a download is available, and we're still BUYING the CD. Is that clear enough for you?
Release better music and people will buy it; here endeth the lesson.
on 6 January 2008
Everyone who is a loyal fan of Goldfrapp knows there was never going to be Supernature part two and thankfully Seventh tree is its delicated counterpoint in pure, innocent and melodic in oppose to the glam rock sound that floods the likes of Ooh La La and Ride a white horse. The simplicity of Seventh tree proves effective, yet like Black Cherry and Supernature the songs are layered and contain texture. Reading recent reviews it comes to my attention people have described this album as acoustic, it couldn't be more opposite, 70s Moog synths layered with spilling piano forms and orchestral brilliance and Alisons vocals cascading beautifully sounding warmer and challenged.
CLOWNS/ An amazing introduction to the album, unrecognisable lyrics, the looped synth and melodic whirlpool of operatic vocals is an ethereal way to start the album.
LITTLE BIRD/ On a first listen it replicates a Beatles track from their famous Sgt Peppers album, a simple track, with the beautifully sung 'July, July, July' chours it plunges into a finishing crescendo of an epic finish with raw percussion and echoed pianos.
HAPPINESS/ The melodic upbeat track focusing on spirituality, it proves that Goldfrapp do have an ounce of happiness and its jump along chorus and electro riffs are a quirky assualt on this emotional track.
ROAD TO SOMEWHERE/ Filmic and epic, a violin strikes through the verses that are chanting about journeys and discovery before a hault and the chorus climbs through with reverbs on the synthesisers Alisons voice proving effortlessly intense.
EAT YOURSELF/The underrated track, mellow and melancholic, with an acoustic riff so delicate its provokes the coldest of listeners, with its sad yet optimistic chorus its a softly sung track about loneliness.
SOME PEOPLE/ The strong emotive ballad with unusual lyrics 'Some people, ask how old i am', its lead by a piano played on a simple chord but with intensity and effects used to louden its power. The construction of this track reflects Alisons vocal range and Will's passion for film scores, it has a euphoric chorus and a beautiful ending.
A and E/ One of the most amazing singles Goldfrapp has ever created and it will still be a personal song of loneliness and love for years to come. Amazingly written and a close attention to melody, it shows the bands interest in capturing a melody more than a soundscape or a sexual metaphor. A&E has a psychedllic feel to it a cheerful Velvet Underground or a more calmer Bonnie Tyler, it is a power ballad that people may frown upon, but this can be seen as such a intelligently written song that Goldfrapp has ever made.
COLOGNE,CERRONE,HOUDINI/ It takes for the chorus to kick in for this song to come into its own, but when the three words are sung it loops in orchestral beauty and like 'Some People' its epic and provides the most interesting title on the album.
CARAVAN GIRL/ Its like Little Bird but uptempo and sung much more happily, it begins with seventies sounding synthesiser before launcing into a drum and piano comibnation with Alisons childlike vocals about a fictional great escape. It has many vocal effects including whistling and layered synthesisers.
MONSTER LOVE/ A heartfelt track, with beautiful words and Alisons flawless vocals, it finishes the album calmly but interestingly with a melodic chorus and electronic pulses before the choruse floods in its heart stopping power 'Everything comes around' it shows the album off leaving us with a narrative that is the genius 'Seventh tree'
Seventh tree is an amazing album by Goldfrapp critics that are of this album don't see how Goldfrapp turned out, they have always been inspired by seventies sounds and vintage synths. This album has more emphasis on melodies in oppose to image, an organic enemy of supernature, it focuses on the folk influences and the grand filmic influence the band shares and their imagery proves idiosyncratic and interesting. Supernature 2 will never happen and Seventh tree is in our hands to love.
on 12 October 2008
if you already have the GOLDFRAPP 7th TREE DELUXE box, then youre screwed if you want to add the DVD , instead you must buy the box all over again...MUTE remains MUTE on the matter of selling just the DVD
on 23 February 2008
Like all great song writing musicians [Prince, for example], you need to keep re-inventing yourself to have a career that will last decades rather than a couple of albums. Goldfrapp, with Seventh Tree prove they are here for the long term and have produced an album that I can only describe as an instant classic!
Styles touch on early Roxy Music, Cocteau Twins, Joni Mitchell, Wendy & Lisa and even Marlene Dietrich/Bardot on Cologne Cerrone Houdini! But they take these influences, mix them up in a bowl of magic Goldfrapp soup and create something so extraordinary and fresh for 2008 that I just can't stop listening to it. [Thanks Alison and Will for giving us all a week to preview the album in full on myspace - great idea, and I'll be buying the album as soon as it's available].
The combination of Will Gregory's incredible chord structures and Alison Goldfrapp's haunting vocals is pure stardust and I'm so pleased they've given us another generous sprinkle.
on 27 August 2016
Lovely album as with all the goldfrapp albums and this is my second favourite after felt mountain, and tales of us comes third. I just bought black cherry to see what that's like. Well recommended if you like soprano female vocals, decent melodies and modern electronic and instrumental arrangements. Goldfrapp is a one in 100 act for talent and musicality.
on 31 January 2010
Goldfrapp want to change musical direction and this album signals the beginning of that change. Their interests were always too diverse and their musical talents too accomplished to become shackled down churning out electro-disco dance numbers - despite what their record company might prefer. Competing against the endless line of Lady GaGa clones is surely not where they want to be. So, step up Seventh Tree. A curious title, possibly hinting that just as the seventh tidal wave offers a stronger current, the seventh tree will signify a similar break from normality. As soon as you hear the opening track you know that Goldfrapp are doing something different. `Clowns' is a dreamy ethereal acoustic charmer that engages your attention immediately. Over a perfectly balanced soundtrack of strings and guitars Alison mumbles something about large balloons being played with by clowns. The lyrics are almost irrelevant; it's the music that matters on this one. It's great and you can't dance to it.
The next couple of tracks are just gorgeous. Beautiful melodies and electronic sounds and over this arrangement Alison pours out a string of life-affirming lyrics promoting actions that you can take that can result in a nirvana of sorts. Set yourself free, remove the shackles that are holding you down and you can fly like a `Little Bird'. Give me your money and I can promise you `Happiness' and love, real love.
The album then slows down with a set of sadder, slower pieces that talk about loneliness and despair about broken relationships. `Road To Somewhere' as opposed to Road To Nowhere talks about a relationship wandering aimlessly and ponders if it is not too late to bring it back on track. `Eat yourself', possibly inferring a tale of unrequited love. Does someone love themselves so much they could possibly eat themselves? Vocally, Alison sounds like Billie Holliday on that last one. Sweet and tender and just a little vulnerable.
`Some people' is the slow-burner on the album. I passed over it after the first few listens but as the immediacy of the more accessible songs begins to wane, I find myself listening more and more to this one and the other inbetween songs such as `Monster Love' and `Cologne Cerrone Houdini'. All wonderful, with beguiling lyrics and tender acoustic sounds.
Yes, `A&E' and `Caravan Girl' are there for easy consumption. `A&E' in particular is a pure delight. It feels like a condensed version of all the great moments on their previous albums. Sharp lyrics over a wonderful chanting electronic chorus with a hypnotic beat. No wonder it was snapped up by the ad-men.
There are lines that you can draw through all sorts of artists to arrive at the Goldfrapp sound. Kate Bush and Liz Fraser vocals, Prefab Sprout, Air and Cocteau Twins electronic wizardry but the great, truly great, thing about Goldfrapp is that they are more than just the sum of their influences. They have refined and honed their sound. Alison's voice has never sounded better than on this album and the creativity of the music to accompany her voice is close to perfection.
On the front cover of Seventh Tree, Alison throws a nervous, furtive glance behind her shoulder. The look of the glamorous disco diva that appeared on Black Cherry and Supernature is replaced by a more natural but slightly less confident appearance. Does that look from Alison tell us that she is walking away from her glam period and wondering nervously if we will follow? Seventh Tree signals a new direction for Goldfrapp, but I suspect that it is merely a stepping-stone to a new Goldfrapp sound. As I write this review, we are only a couple of months away from their new album and a new single is already circulating on the web with fairly mixed comments. As sad as it will be to see some parts of the Goldfrapp sound disappear, I am excited and thrilled at the prospect of what they might deliver next. Don't worry Alison, be like that little bird and keep flying. We'll enjoy wherever you land.
on 22 February 2008
This is about as far from the last album as you could musically get. More Ubernature than Supernature. Gone are the bleeps and squelchy crunches of that record. Indeed it's nearly 7 minutes in before we even hear any percussion. It's like Alison has walked out of TopShop and into The BodyShop.
But whatever colour a chameleon might turn, it's still a chameleon. There is no need for camouflage here though. It's still Goldfrapp.
This beautiful record is blissed-out, loved-up and sunny in a late summer afternoon but somehow melancholy way. In the age of individual downloads this stands as an example of how to actually sequence tracks. I can't imagine how you could better playlist these songs in a better order than they are presented here.
If you are a fan of Goldfrapp the duo rather than a fan of Goldfrapp the albums then this music might come as less of a shock. There are pointers throughout their earlier work to this as a possible direction. It shows considerable commercial bravery on their part to go this way, albeit they deserve to win over a whole new audience. Quite how the Supernature crowd who talk all the way through Deer Stop will cope with this music live will prove very interesting.
Other reviewers have gone into detail about individual songs, I just love the details in this initially simple-sounding record. Clearly, there are guitars but of the acoustic variety this time. I think there is even a 12-string on the closing passage of Eat Yourself, where you can practically hear the surf breaking on the fade. It reminds me of Bobby Goldsboro's Summer (The First Time). Cologne nods to ELO's One Summer Dream. Bit of theme here?! The strings are faultlessly arranged again and give a gorgeous, filmic backdrop to certain tracks. And there won't be many hits this year starting with a steel-strung harp like A&E does. On which, incidentally, Alison gives as good a vocal performance as you will hear from anyone, ever, anywhere. She is technically such an astonishing singer that it is easy to overlook just how fantastic an artist she really is. The glacial Metropolis perfection of the magnificent Utopia may have gone by but she gets better with every record...
When I first heard this album I didn't care if I ever heard it again. But in a time of instant gratification this is sometimes a good sign and I am so glad I did play it again. And again. It's interesting that it's coming out now in the winter because as other reviewers have alluded to, this feels like a warm, golden summer record. Going into autumn. The latest photographs catch the mood perfectly.
Is there anyone else out there apart from these two making adult music as good as this, music that is more than just pop?
I for one am continually glad that at least Goldfrapp do...
on 24 February 2008
I love Goldfrapp. I loved their last album and I loved the one before that. Their best, however, was always the spine tingly debut 'Felt Mountain.' Whilst hey went off into the realms of glam disco on later releases, I always they were at their absolute best with the chilled out vibes that brought them to the dance.
Don't get me wrong, the direction they went after 'Felt' was fine. They were still better at what they did than most. i just think Alison's voice is so perfectly fit to a more relaxed background.
As I write this i have had the opener to their new album, 'Seventh Tree' (Clowns) on constant repeat. I have now listened to this tract 11 times in a row and still find it mesmorising with each subsequent listen. I have neve heard a track which moves me more than this absolute, set in stone classic. Ali's voice is just so haunting, so lush, so... perfect!
I heard that a big influence on the album was the classic 70's film 'The Wicker Man.' It was that exact film which i though of when I first put this record on. It is a fantastically dark, gothic film to which this album owes so much.
Pick up 'Becoming X' by the Sneaker Pimps and listen to track 11 (How Do) and you will get an idea what I mean. I could imagine Alison singing that song and doing it justice.
'Seventh Tree' is the best record I have heard this year and most probably better than anything I have heard for about the past 4-5 years. I can't name a duff track on it because there simply isn;t one (unlike the past couple of albums which have had several fillers on them.)
If you liked 'Felt' you will adore this. If you like chilled out, gothic, melodic music then you too will be sat wondering if you have EVER heard anything better than this.
on 27 April 2008
First listen.....disappointed. Just bland and nothingness.Elevator music.
Second listen....it's OK, but background music, nothing special.
Third listen.....it's quite good in parts, certain tracks stand out.
Fourth listen.....hey this is actually really good.
Fifth listen........wow this is amzing, my favourite album of Goldfrapps yet!
This album is a grower. I'm like the biggest Goldfrapp fan in the world yet the first couple of times I listened to it I really didn't like it at all, but have patience with it.......and you'll come to be amazed.
I just had it on in the background for a few listens while I was studying, or doing the house work.......then all of a sudden, bang....it just hit me.
It's beautiful, etheral,powerful.......lush. A stunning stunning album. Now I just can't get enough!!