Posts Tagged ‘Reviews’

Goldfrapp-Tales-of-Us-2013-1200x1200

Will Gregory and Alison Goldfrapp were never going to give us something we expected. In their fourteen year, six album, career they have constantly reinvented themselves and on the way, if they haven’t actually created the genre they most probably provided us with the definitive benchmark of how it should sound. The only exception to that rule was their last album, Head First, which lacked the emotional depth of their previous output. Tales of Us however, finds them back in full effect and in many ways this album takes us full circle by rekindling the essence of their first album.

The tracks on the album are all, bar one, named after people. The Album starts with Jo which has a simple arrangement layered with sparse strings and harp. The second, Annabel, one of the more instantly striking tracks, relates the story of a hermaphrodite who was forced to live as a boy. It has also been released alongside a short film which you can see here. The overall impression of this record is subtly cinematic, themes of Ennio Morricone crop up in places, Stranger for example, the soundtrack of which serves as a sumptuous backdrop for Alison Goldfrapp’s vocal. Hints of the pastoral also emerge, reminding us of the shimmering folk melodies from their fourth LP, The Seventh Tree. Will Gregory’s instrumentation is exquisite throughout and the pared-back nature of the arrangement serves only to highlight the astonishing range and quality of Alison’s voice.

All in all this release is a pleasant surprise. After the last record which left fans wondering where they could go, they have managed to deliver a piece of work which will stand up to the test of time and repeated listening.

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Hawthorne&Child

Well I enjoyed reading this book immensely but I really haven’t got a clue what the hell it was about. It masquerades as a novel but basically it is a collection of short stories.  It starts off (and finishes) well, with Hawthorne and Child racing to a call-out, but the intervening chapters veer off in wildly different directions.  All the time you feel that the characters and stories are connected but you can’t really put your finger on what it is that links them.

The writing is both in-your-face and arrestingly beautiful at the same time.  The voices of some of the madder characters were truly haunting, and in places it moved me a lot. But when I finished, I felt like I’d woken up after some crazy drunken night out. One where you managed to make it safely home but you haven’t got the foggiest idea how.