61 of 70 people found the following review helpful
Some kind of wonderful,
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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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 30 Apr 2010 12:31:20 BDT
Alison Muirhead says:
What a spot on review. I thought the very same 'Van Halen' thing when I first heard Rocket. Will definitely purchase the album today.
In reply to an earlier post on 30 Apr 2010 14:29:51 BDT
Mr. D. Parkinson says:
Agreed, excellent review! I too was in denial at first upon hearing 'Rocket' - "This isn't Goldfrapp! They've turned the wrong corner!" But actually.... several listens later and I am hooked on this album. Glorious fun.
Posted on 7 Jun 2010 14:46:34 BDT
I was just about to add my own review, but your astute comments exactly mirror what I would have said. Rather than plagiarise, the only honest thing for me to do is to simply write "read review by G.Thomas".
"Felt Mountain" remains my favourite Goldfrapp album and I instantly loved it, but like all Goldfrapp's other albums this one grows on me with each repeated listening.
Posted on 11 Sep 2014 07:03:06 BDT
Mr. J. J. Barker says:
It's a pity you put down Van Halen in such an insubstantial way. Van Halen were by far one of the more innovative rock bands of the late 1970s, with Eddie Van Halen introducing his unique guitar playing (copied by millions of others since). Early Van Halen albums such as Fair Warning, Diver Down and 1984 were a truly eclectic mix - much like Goldrapp's back catalogue. As a fan of both artists, I am disappointed by your weak put down of Van Halen when you clearly don't know what you're talking about. I do agree, however, with the rest of your review (except the comments about "Rocket") and I don't really know much about Starship beyond their ultra-commercial singles.
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