Multi-genre experimentation is like walking through minefields with a blindfold. It’s an incredible risk where few succeed. To throw styles from all walks of contemporary listening into one blender is a daunting, indulgent task, but there are those few who meld to form the perfect cocktail for the modern-day listener. Count Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory, otherwise simply known as Goldfrapp, into that tiny echelon of achievement. Think the torch songs of Portishead, with a side order of Bjork and the cinematic drama of an Ennio Morricone, and Goldfrapp emerges.
Yes, there are many artists borrowing gratefully from the sounds of the aforementioned artists, but Alison Goldfrapp can actually back it up, having collaborated with both Orbital and Tricky on their early albums. Back to Felt Mountain, the whistling, shimmering keyboards, breathy soundscapes, and pure emotion make for the perfect drama that unfolds before your very ears. “Lovely Head” and “Human” emphasize her plight with breakbeats and strings as she beckons the listener into her lovely and dark domain. So put away your Al Green or Marvin Gaye records. Light some candles, pour the wine and sit back with a lover, for Felt Mountain is the true new romantic sound.
Mute Records, 140 W. 22nd Street, Suite 10A, New York, NY 10011; http://www.mute.com