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4.4 out of 5 stars
119
4.4 out of 5 stars
Seventh Tree
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 6 August 2017
Lovely melodic music.
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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.
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on 5 April 2017
fine.
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HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERon 25 March 2008
I confess, I'm still getting used to the glitzy, glammy sound Goldfrapp had in its last album. Now it has gone to the other extreme -- floaty, instrumental pop.

Fortunately it doesn't take long to get used to this new style, because it fits Goldfrapp like a fine silk glove.The dancy electrobeats are translated into shimmering downtempo, the hard edges softened into acoustics -- it's a floaty, dreamlike, bittersweetly beautiful little album, full of swirlingly addictive instrumentation and wistful vocals.

It opens with the mellow rippling guitar, overlaid with an ethereal fog of sorrowful violins, a touch of synth, clips of birds singing happily. "Only clowns would play with dull balloons," Alison Goldfrapp sings in a girlish slur. It's pretty hard to hear what's she singing ("Roasting, roasting, roast indeed, mahogany"), but the exquisite quality of the music makes up for it.

This is where you know it's all going to work.

And she doesn't disappoint in the songs after, startling with the quivering synth and satiny vocals of "Little Bird" ("We dance by the sea/the land of blue and gold/is where we were free/do you lie, lie lie?") and catchy, sunny "Happiness." And it sets the tone for some of the songs that follow -- exquisitely sensuous pop melodies, odd chorale ballads, dramatic electronica, and the sprightly dancy chamberpop of "Caravan Girl."

The highlight has to be "A&E," a warm fragile little melody spun that ripples with piano and soft keyboard. And as the melody picks up into a swirling instrumental speckled with electronic blips, the tone turns a bit darker. "I was trying to phone you when I'm crawling out the door.... I was feeling lonely, feeling blue/Feeling like I needed you/Like I've woken up surrounded by me/A&E..."

Most bands can't pull off a total change of sound -- they're going to disappoint a lot of, and often the quality of their music suffers because they're simply not used to this style. Fortunately Goldfrapp is not one of those bands -- it's hard to imagine anyone being turned off by the lush, bittersweet sound of this album.

The songs are spun out of a lot of acoustic instruments -- waves of elegant strings and a low-key piano, with some acoustic guitar and jazzy drums to keep the melodies grounded. But they haven't totally abandoned electronica -- there's a trip-hoppy downtempo flavour to these songs, mostly expressed in warm, misty synth that gently wraps around the chamberpop and folky melodies. But you do get some kooky catchy organ again toward the end.

And Alison Goldfrapp sounds like she's having fun. Her flexible, silky voice can become whatever the melody requires of her -- girly slurring, terrifying perkiness ("We're here to welcome you!"), an otherworldly balladeer -- but most of the time she sounds lovelorn and wistful.

And while the music may be more accessible, the songs she sings are flavoured with depression, moments stolen with a lover you'll never really have, and even drug overdoses ("It's a blue, bright blue Saturday, hey hey/And the pain has started to slip away/I'm in a backless dress on a pastel ward that's shining/Think I want you still/But it may be pills at work").

Goldfrapp have really outdone themselves in the shimmering, exquisite "Seventh Tree," a sharp deviation from their previous music. Utterly spellbinding from beginning to end.
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HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERon 27 February 2008
I confess, I'm still getting used to the glitzy, glammy sound Goldfrapp had in its last album. Now it has gone to the other extreme -- floaty, instrumental pop.

Fortunately it doesn't take long to get used to this new style, because it fits Goldfrapp like a fine silk glove.The dancy electrobeats are translated into shimmering downtempo, the hard edges softened into acoustics -- it's a floaty, dreamlike, bittersweetly beautiful little album, full of swirlingly addictive instrumentation and wistful vocals.

It opens with the mellow rippling guitar, overlaid with an ethereal fog of sorrowful violins, a touch of synth, clips of birds singing happily. "Only clowns would play with dull balloons," Alison Goldfrapp sings in a girlish slur. It's pretty hard to hear what's she singing ("Roasting, roasting, roast indeed, mahogany"), but the exquisite quality of the music makes up for it.

This is where you know it's all going to work.

And she doesn't disappoint in the songs after, startling with the quivering synth and satiny vocals of "Little Bird" ("We dance by the sea/the land of blue and gold/is where we were free/do you lie, lie lie?") and catchy, sunny "Happiness." And it sets the tone for some of the songs that follow -- exquisitely sensuous pop melodies, odd chorale ballads, dramatic electronica, and the sprightly dancy chamberpop of "Caravan Girl."

The highlight has to be "A&E," a warm fragile little melody spun that ripples with piano and soft keyboard. And as the melody picks up into a swirling instrumental speckled with electronic blips, the tone turns a bit darker. "I was trying to phone you when I'm crawling out the door.... I was feeling lonely, feeling blue/Feeling like I needed you/Like I've woken up surrounded by me/A&E..."

Most bands can't pull off a total change of sound -- they're going to disappoint a lot of, and often the quality of their music suffers because they're simply not used to this style. Fortunately Goldfrapp is not one of those bands -- it's hard to imagine anyone being turned off by the lush, bittersweet sound of this album.

The songs are spun out of a lot of acoustic instruments -- waves of elegant strings and a low-key piano, with some acoustic guitar and jazzy drums to keep the melodies grounded. But they haven't totally abandoned electronica -- there's a trip-hoppy downtempo flavour to these songs, mostly expressed in warm, misty synth that gently wraps around the chamberpop and folky melodies. But you do get some kooky catchy organ again toward the end.

And Alison Goldfrapp sounds like she's having fun. Her flexible, silky voice can become whatever the melody requires of her -- girly slurring, terrifying perkiness ("We're here to welcome you!"), an otherworldly balladeer -- but most of the time she sounds lovelorn and wistful.

And while the music may be more accessible, the songs she sings are flavoured with depression, moments stolen with a lover you'll never really have, and even drug overdoses ("It's a blue, bright blue Saturday, hey hey/And the pain has started to slip away/I'm in a backless dress on a pastel ward that's shining/Think I want you still/But it may be pills at work").

Goldfrapp have really outdone themselves in the shimmering, exquisite "Seventh Tree," a sharp deviation from their previous music. Utterly spellbinding from beginning to end.
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on 6 March 2008
Cocteau Twins meet XTC meet Nick Drake meets Sandy Denny meets Syd Barratt meets Roy Wood. This album is a sensational celebration of individualism and musicianship. I melted into it on first hearing and it has conquered my soul. Buy it and drown in it.
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on 3 April 2008
Terrific follow-up to 'Supernature'.The first track is worth the five star rating alone...'Clowns',all hippy-ethereal cinema soundscapes with lyrics about the longevity of upper body implants for women of a 'wag' disposition...it's funny,scathing,soothing and heartfelt but most of all quite beautifully affecting and gorgeous.And,if the trick is supposed to be a talent to keep this standard up for the entire album they fail miserably BECAUSE they surpass this standard on numerous occasions with at least six other of the ten tracks,the pinnacle for me being,'Cologne Cerrone Houdini',not 'single' material but still quite possibly the best track they've ever written....
I'm going to be paying a lot more attention to this duo from now on...they've provided me with the best album of 2008 so far and for that,Goldfrapp,i thank you very much.
Absolute corker!!
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VINE VOICEon 1 March 2008
It's probably inevitable that Seventh Tree will draw its share of bad reviews. In these days of critical prejudice and prejudgement, it'll be lucky if most reviewers listen to it all the way through, let alone live with it for a day or two. This is a shame, because Seventh Tree takes time to weave its subtle spell.

There are no disco-glam stomps of the type that made the band a global dancefloor phenomenon with Supernature. Neither have Alison and Will returned to the arch John Barry-esque balladry of Felt Mountain and the transitional Black Cherry.

Instead, Seventh Tree departs into a kind of summery dreamworld halfway between the Vale of Avalon and the Hollywood Hills. Pictured in the CD artwork half-dressed as a clown and enveloped by a huge flowery owl, Alison appears to be taking on the persona of Bloduedd, the murderous maiden constructed by wizards in Welsh epic The Mabinogion.

The songs meander and murmur through a heat haze of memory and myth, laughing at girls who have boob jobs ("only clowns would play with those balloons...what d'you wanna look like Barbie for?") and corrupt religious cults ("give us all your money...we're here to welcome you").

The music is sonically much more adventurous, importing vintage electronica like the wheezing Optigon as well as acoustic elements such as a seventeenth century harp and fingerpicked acoustic guitars. Alison's voice coos and soars, remembering car crash catastrophes, hopeless love affairs and broken paths to escape, sometimes evoking the almost wordless birdsong of Elizabeth Fraser in the Cocteau Twins or the doomed chime of German chanteuse Nico. On the strange, yearning Eat Yourself, it's almost as if Billie Holliday had been dumped in the middle of a Somerset pasture, surrounded by Victorian peasants with pitchforks and told to sing her way out of trouble.

There may not be a "Strict Machine" or an "Ooh La La" in sight, but trust to Goldfrapp's creativity and artistry and give Seventh Tree a chance. It may take two, three or even more listens to work its spell on you, but eventually you'll be hooked.
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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.
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on 31 March 2017
This is one of my favourite Goldfrapp albums, I loved Black Cherry and Supernature for all their Disco / Glam overtones but this for me is a far more accomplished album, No filler all great tracks. Love it.
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