The Top 50 Albums of the Year… #30 GOLDFRAPP “Head First”
30. GOLDFRAPP “Head First”
2008′s subdued – but incredibly brilliant – “Seventh Tree” was a massive departure from 2005′s electro-glam-fest “Supernature”, Goldfrapp’s most high-octane record prior to the release of “Head First”. Combining a love of 70′s radio hits, 80′s electro synths and a visual campaign that conjured up images of the Jane Fonda workout, Xanadu and Donna Summer, the music on Goldfrapp’s Head First matched the artwork so wonderfully with its sugary-sweet disco licks and airy sensibilities. The cheeky lead single “Rocket” is, quite deceptively, joyous, with its bitter lyrics of a love gone awry, Alison sings “Oh-woah-oh, I’ve got a rocket! Oh-woah-oh, you’re going on it! Oh-woah-oh; You’re never coming back!” It’s all just so very Alison.
It’s the trifecta of album pearlers “Dreaming”, title track “Head First” and the gloriously magnificent “Hunt” that shine brighter than anything else on here though. “Dreaming” borrows bits and pieces from the collective works of Duran Duran and Depeche Mode and throws it together with Goldfrapp’s incredible knack for writing a killer chorus, whilst “Head First”, with its honkytonk piano intro, serves as the records only true ballad. “Hunt”, however, is up there with some of the best Goldfrapp moments of all time, with it’s mesmerisingly haunting production and precious lyrics (“All you love you destroy. Everyone is your toy.”)
“Head First” isn’t exactly revolutionary, but it does tend to push a couple of boundaries not met by its electro-pop contemporaries of the last two years. The record itself is fairly sublime but there aren’t a lot of singles on here, or at least, not a lot of songs that would garner them the much needed hit record their career so richly needs at this point. In todays musical climate, this kind of genius is guaranteed to go over the heads of those buying records. Maybe in the early 80′s a song like “Rocket” would have shot to the top of the charts, but in 2010 it seems as though the general consumer has moved on from this electropop sound, regardless of how much classier it sounds on the Goldfrapp record. Which is a shame, because there’s still a lot of places this genre can go over the next couple of years, and with “Head First”, the Frapp were definitely on the right track.