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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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TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 29 September 2013
Goldfrapp's sixth studio album ‘Tales of Us’ is a fine and mature piece of work, possibly their best. Though it can sound on a casual first pass like a background muzak soundscape, repeat listening reveals the album to be a delicate mood piece with Alison’s subdued and breathy vocals delivered with a finesse matched by the sensitive and imaginative instrumental work of Will Gregory. Orchestral strings feature in the arrangements as often as synthesizers.

The song titles are one-worders, each a person’s name. The tunes are rather traditional in structure, delicate and uncomplicated but the whole effect adds up to something special, each song building on the mood of the last. Like watching a film composed of different scenes, each adding to the story, the album works best when listened to as a whole from beginning to end.

Party music this is not, but for the early hours of the morning, or for afternoon contemplation, it’s perfect. True it may not be to everyone’s taste, but it may be to yours. Give it a listen.
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on 25 October 2014
This album obviously divides people, don't go expecting some wild dance tunes, this is very much a stripped back album, with little hint of the electro sound Goldfrapp are arguably most loved for. There is however great variety in the musical delivery, it is a largely sombre affair, and one would be tempted to describe this as a 'mellow' album until your explore the depth of psychological torment within the songs characters. Tales of Us is a melancholic, yet often beautifully delivered narrative, it's emotionally charged, intelligently written and thought provoking album from Goldfrapp. Despite comparisons to Felt Mountain and Seventh Tree, tales of Us manages to be it's own distinctive album, 'Alvar' for example sees Goldfrapp moving into new territory, their darkest yet. Alays a pleasure to hear a Goldfrapp album and wonder what they will surprise us with next.
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on 15 May 2014
I've played this album so much since I purchased - that it has to be my personal No.1 album of 2013. From the first time I heard a snippet on Radio 2, I knew I had to have it - despite not been familiar with the work of Goldfrapp before.
One of the things that I love about this album is the gentle resonance of all the songs - although melodic, the variations are not so diverse as to become disturbing beyond a certain 'bandwidth', so to speak. In other words, the resonance of the voice and music fits my wavelength completely, fitting into a frequency that allows me to feel in harmony with myself. So for me, it's all about the feeling, and not one of these tracks offends my senses.
I have since gone on to buy other Goldfrapp albums which have also been a delight.
Highly recommended.
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on 14 October 2013
I still remember how achingly beautiful Felt Mountain was when it was released way back when. Since then, Goldfrapp have impressed me with each new release with their versatility and the strength of their melodies. Despite the strength of many of their individual songs, though, they never seemed to hit the heights of their debut over the length of an album.

Tales of Us feels like a return to the sounds and haunting atmosphere of Felt Mountain, starting with four blinding tracks (particularly Annabel which is as good as anything they have written). The album tapers off slightly thereafter (or perhaps I haven't given the whole album time to mature in my head yet), but there are no duff tracks here.

MORE PLEASE!
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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 15 September 2013
Godfrapp have always been a v intriguing outfit, and rarely do they produce music that could ever be described as mediocre, rushed or uninteresting. What is always evident is they craft, they don't just put out albums of filler material, each song is considered and thoughtful. No exception here. the year 7th Tree was released it soon floated to the top as my favourite album of that year, and I think, for me, Tales of Us will be the same for 2013. Haunting, intriguing, beautiful, melancholy and with the unique and immediately recognisable vocal from Alison G never faltering. With a nod to Felt Mountain, Seventh Tree but also with hints of Kate Bush, Iliad (She Died for beauty, Ingrid Chavez and the odd touch of Mandalay, this is a stunning album. The first three tracks open this album in real style, and it is carried through on the remainder of the sngs here, a masterpiece which carries you effortlessly away to somewhere dreamy, dark and interesting. Brilliant, pure and brilliant.
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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 19 September 2013
If you're expecting catchy pop tunes, forget it. This is even more esoteric than Seventh Tree. Alison Goldfrapp has a stunning voice. The songs here are about individuals - real or imagined I don't know. Annabel is the most catchy, with a beautiful hook in it that made me play it again and again. And Stranger is also beautiful. The rest is very pretty, some of it bordering on jazzy. Not a song for the dancefloor on the whole album. But if you love Goldfrapp you'll love this.
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on 5 November 2014
Tales of Us is a melodic exploration of concepts revolving around ten different people, with a loving homage to each. It is heartwarming, calming, caring and beautiful. A sense of oneness between the artist and these people creates a sense of entrance into a special community of loved ones who have been in danger or suffered somehow. The album is thoughtful and delicate.
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