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Goldfrapp | Supernature (Mute)

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Through it all, there’s that voice. Goldfrapp can sing the satin sheets right off your bed—and likely the clothes right off your body if you’re listening to this one with a significant other.

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Oh man, this is a big one. Sometimes we review little records, and sometimes we review big records, and Goldfrapp’s third CD, Supernature, is an absolute behemoth in terms of its fearless consolidation of most of the important movements on the pop side of pop culture. In cinematic terms, it’s the IMAX of modern electronic dance pop.

Alison Goldfrapp and her techno-savvy partner Will Gregory know what they want, baby. And they know what you want. You want music that’s sexy, melodic, danceable, flawlessly sung and performed, and a little bit dangerous. Well, here it is. From the sensual cover photo to the final throbbing synth strains of “Beauty,” this is one voluptuous vamp of a record. It sets out to tie you up, tease you, and have its way with you from the opening note of “Ooh La La,” the first single. “Switch me on, turn me up,” sings Goldfrapp in full seductive chanteuse mode over a bass line reminiscent of Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit in the Sky”—and who’s gonna say no to that? Much is being made of the glam-rock spirit of this album (and its Brit-nominated predecessor Black Cherry), and critics have been falling over themselves to write punchy summations of the sound. So let’s get this over with: Supernature sounds like a battle of the synth bands between Gary Numan and New Order commandeered by a Roxy Music cover model, fresh from a date with Prince at an all-night showing of Connery-era James Bond films, and graciously giving props to Madonna, Donna Summer, and Kylie Minogue before booting all three out of the room, while Marc Bolan flirts with her from stage left after having KO’d a trash-talking Giorgio Moroder.

Or, put another way, this is one big, delirious, synth- and sex-fueled cinematic dance party. Highlights include the insistent electronica rhythms of “Ride a White Horse,” the unabashedly catchy pop of “Fly Me Away,” the utterly captivating “Satin Chic” with its blend of foot-tapping synth and music hall piano, and the lush You Only Live Twice–style orchestration of “Time Out From the World.” The album seems paced to keep you dancing and working up a lusty sweat, while providing occasional needed relief with sensual ballads like “Let It Take You.”

Through it all, there’s that voice. Goldfrapp can sing the satin sheets right off your bed—and likely the clothes right off your body if you’re listening to this one with a significant other. Her pipes have been described as silky, sultry, soulful, and lots of other adjectives beginning with “s.” But make no mistake, she’s the real deal, and unless you’re immune to dance pop or prefer the more ambient, trip-hoppy Goldfrapp of Felt Mountain, you’ll likely find Supernature a supersexy listening experience. “I’ll be there to meet you/Getting down to greet you,” purrs our gal on the aptly named “Beauty.” Only in our dreams, Goldfrapp, only in our dreams…

 

 

 


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