Goldfrapp - Silver Eye
For anyone who has only come to Goldfrapp in the past five years this record may be a bit of a shock. Their previous album Tale's of Us slid firmly in the folktronica scene which for many was a departure that they could not follow the band on. That is why this record, Silver Eye, is seen by many as a return to form, getting out of some of their more experimental leanings and back into synthpop and dance. You aren't going to get many analogue sounds so if that is what you are after it is time to move on. However even though they are pushing the electronic tones forward they are still able to create atmospheric swirling soundscapes. The albums opener "Anymore" kicks the door down with a dance heavy sound, but then things tend to get a bit more slithery. "Tigerman" for example just kinds of worms it's way in slowly creeping in and allowing the music to overtake you before it makes any real kind of statement. It even seems like at times Goldfrapp try to get in their own way, just to find something beautiful eventually. The vocals on "Become the One" start as highly affected and off putting but eventually morph into something you can actually enjoy. There is also a distinct lack of thumping bass which is a welcome change of pace in dance or synthpop music. It also allows the more breathy tracks to stand on their own without bass fully swallowing them whole.
If you expected this to be a start to finish club banger however you would be greatly disappointed. Dance serves as a baseline, but the band explore so many avenues that is almost impossible to pin the record down. The second half of the record starts to sound more like Purity Ring with the ethereal becoming the central theme. "Beast That Never Was" builds for almost two minutes before it ever reaches a point, but it does pull you right along the journey with it and does use some of that more natural imagery to get the idea of the song across. Album to album the band changes their style so greatly that you are never quite sure where the next one is going to go, you only know that in someway it will be a reaction to what the previous record did. This creativity makes their catalogue so wildly diverse and each new project an almost total surprise. For some however this record may be just too electronic and too impersonal, yet if you can look behind the synths you will find just how much depth they are able to find in their writing. Just a really solid record from a band who have been doing it for almost 20 years.
8.0 out of 10