Goldfrapp – Tales Of Us
Tales Of Us is the soundtrack to a James Bond movie. But this is no techno-gadget, car-chase, adventure-music album. It’s no Supernature for the Daniel Craig era. Instead, it’s the soundtrack to a slow-motion James Bond movie, or music for the moment when Miss Moneypenny’s watches 007 leave the room knowing that he’s going win over someone else’s heart and not hers. For the time when Bond and the Bond girl turn off the light and the camera pans slowly away. For the scene where Bond says “We have all the time in the world”. Here, unlike Kate Havnevik’s magnificent 2006 release, Melankton, which was full of huge double agent-like crescendos, the tempo is never up, the range never dynamic, the drama only mellow. On ‘Annabel’ the strings sweep in, but soon cut out again. On ‘Drew’ the cellos scythe, but only for a couple of cuts. On ‘Thea’ there’s horsepower, but it’s not the roar of a 5.9-litre Aston Martin, it’s the sound of the four-legged variety galloping away at the end of the track. We’re ways away from the extravagant, exotic, excessive land of Black Cherry. Instead, we’re in the most bucolic Felt Mountain or Seventh Tree territory. For some Goldfrapp fans, it’ll be a big disappointment. But it shouldn’t be. These are beautifully restrained songs. They’re from the less is more school of music. And they sound wonderful. Alison Goldfrapp’s voice is better than ever and the arrangements mean that it’s there to be heard, right at the centre of the song. Goldfrapp subscribe to the belief that you can’t please all of the people all of the time. They’re not afraid to change as a result. Here, they’ve produced a gorgeous set of songs that will displease some of the people for all time, but will be loved by others. Fans of James Bond-like soundtracks included.