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.