Release Date: 09.19.00
Record label: mute / a.d.a.
Another Amazing Album You Probably Have Never Heard
by: peter naldrett
A movie soundtrack without a movie to go with it, the debut album from Goldfrapp is a startling collection of melancholy, moody muses that have their ideology in film noir and a heart in a 1960s rainy French cafe.
The mastermind behind Felt Mountain is composer, whistler, vocalist and pianist Alison Goldfrapp, who has created an album so full of atmosphere that it is almost bursting out of its delightfully picturesque packaging.
Although the classical and sombre mood of Felt Mountain may be too much to listen to straight through without a break, there are some major peaks here that deserve to be written into music folklore. The whistling, Bond-like feel to the opening track, "Lovely Head," and the haunting melody of the first single, "Utopia," are tremendous moments, erupting with creativity and enriching many senses like few artists ever do. And for sheer diversity switch straight to "Oompa Radar," an instrumental which flows like a river between phases of a circus performance, angelic warbling and a northern brass band.
Another moment of instrumental magic can be found "Horse Tears," although it certainly lacks the poetic lyrics that make "Utopia" and "Lovely Head" so outstanding.
A dreamlike album from a former fine art student of Middlesex University, Felt Mountain features Goldfrapp's Minnelli-esque vocals and is overflowing with feeling. It is an unfortunate irony that a quality album like this will probably not reach many mainstream ears, but anybody who can get hold of a copy will be widening the dimensions of their CD collection.