Goldfrappuccino

U.K. electro's great white hope

Goldfrapp singer/namesake Allison Goldfrapp began as your garden-variety British art school trend-spotter. After dabbling with multimedia creations and landing on some hep remix ditties, she guested on albums from Tricky, Orbital, and Add N to (X). Eventually she hooked up with producer/musician Will Gregory to form Goldfrapp's crit-fawning pop-synthscapes on 2000's Felt Mountain. Their aesthetic became clubbier as the records progressed, gaining a sizable, mostly European following, with exponential expectations that they were to be the act that “really breaks electronica” in the U.S., as in major radio play and top 10 hits.

Supernature, Goldfrapp's latest batch of disco-swaggering, comes close to fulfilling that promise. Expertly slick pop/dance-floor trance hybrids abound. There's the T-Rexy robot stomps of “Ooh La La,” “Slide In,” and “Satin Chic”; the Kylie Minogue wet dreams of “Lovely 2 C U” and “Fly Me Away”; inexplicable if fun German accents (“Ride a White Horse”); and other Kraftwerkin' it outs (“Number 1”). The album even includes prom-possible silicon slow jams (“Let It Take You,” “Time Out From the World”). The choruses could aim higher than the raised roof to more consistently inhabit that classic mirror-ball transcendence, but that's needling — or chewing on glow sticks, or whatever.

But as for more waiting for the great techno leap forward over here? Well, the thing is, Euro DJs already collect about 12 times the average performance fee of any given equipment-lugging rock band, plus they get all the hot groupies. So ya got that going for ya. Worrying whether any predominantly sequencer 'n' synth laptop techno act, even an A-1 example of 21st-century bubble gum like this, finds a mainstream radio format to fit into (apart from the formless satellite universe) remains a fruitless, and dull, proposition for the time being.

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