Release Date: Feb 7, 2012
Record label: Astralwerks
It was definitely The Voice. Yes it was definitely the voice that lured me to the shores of that strange, Brave New World named Goldfrapp. It wasn’t the Space Disco Stallion born from a million shattered mirrors, the Vampiric cherubs or the dancing tree people. It wasn’t the folklore of Ms Goldfrapp yodelling whilst milking a cow for some clandestine art happening, or the bizarre early Oompah leanings.
The Singles begins at the peak of Goldfrapp’s popularity, with “Ooh La La” and “Number 1,” the singles from 2006’s Supernature. It’s a killer opening act, though it also speaks to the confidence that Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory have in their lesser-known material. Even if they’d gone the standard route of arranging these singles in chronological order, the disc would’ve naturally built to those guaranteed crowd-pleasers.
Goldfrapp have spent the past decade moving back and forth between icy electro-glam and atmospheric balladry, delivering these extremes in tonally consistent albums that dare to alienate listeners who favor one style over the other. Despite this polarity, the duo has a remarkably consistent aesthetic, with a gloss of aloof sexiness and cinematic glamour connecting the sci-fi cabaret number "Utopia", the sinister S&M throbber "Strict Machine", the swelling ballad "Black Cherry", the glam rock stomp "Ooh La La", and the spacey yet pastoral folk tune "A&E". The Singles, their first hits collection, makes a virtue of their range.
There always seemed to be an ongoing argument regarding Goldfrapp: are they sleek and inventive chameleons or simply opportunistic magpies? Certainly, they are band who changed with the wind and seemed to effortlessly blend into the contemporary musical traffic without so much as looking into their blind spot. But equally, they've frequently faced critical scorn for being overtly cynical: moving about the various corners of the scene depending on tastes, styles and cultural milieu rather than musical integrity and intent. Won’t the real Goldfrapp please stand up? Yes, stop sprawling seductively on the leather couch and come here.
After a bit more than a decade of existence and five albums of original material, it seemed fitting that rural-meets-modernist British duo Goldfrapp proposed us a career retrospective last month, aptly titled The Singles. Without fanfare, they've accompanied this collection with the "Melancholy Sky" single and twirling non-album exclusive "Yellow Halo," two pieces of moderately noncommittal chamber pop that are, truth be told, among the duo's most lukewarm offerings. That said, these shouldn't detract anyone from the fact the twelve singles that preceded them rank next to the synth pop genre's best.
The most versatile and glitteringly brilliant pop band of our new millennium. Jaime Gill 2012 One of the many fascinating things about Goldfrapp throughout their 12-year career has been the impossibility of pinning them down. Emerging from trip-hop’s ashes, debut Felt Mountain dealt in moody, manicured atmospherics, purpose-built for adverts and dinner parties.
The single’s collection has always been a staple piece of the discography of pop groups, and over their thirteen year career few groups have made such consistently great pop singles as Goldfrapp.The duo, comprising vocalist Alison Goldfrapp and composer Will Gregory, have over the course of five studio albums produced a string of eclectic and memorable singles collected here on their first career spanning retrospective. It is easy to forget just how many great songs Goldfrapp have had. The compilation is front-loaded with their biggest hits, which makes for a particularly arresting opening.