May 2006

Goldfrapp - Supernature (Deluxe Edition)
Mute 9312-2
Format: CD + DVD-V
Released: 2006

by Michael Galvin

Musical Performance ****
Recording Quality ****
Overall Enjoyment ****

Alison Goldfrapp’s debut album, Felt Mountain, heralded the arrival of the kind of torchy, downtempo songstress that fans of bands like Portishead, Lamb, and Esthero found irresistible. Black Cherry, released two years later, all at once tried to be both a synth-heavy dance album and wispy-vocalized electronica. Supernature is almost exclusively the former. Most traces of Goldfrapp’s intimate, cabaret-like side are banished on this CD, with the possible exception of "Let it Take You," a somewhat lightly tinged electronic poem that advocates the idea of giving in to emotion. The voice will sound familiar, but here it is more manipulated, more married to kaleidoscopic soundscapes. The first track, "Ooh La La," announces that this album is unabashedly pop. Songs like "Satin Chic" could easily be mistaken for '80s-era New Wave.

I’ve listened to the album a dozen or so times already, and it is great to have on in the background while doing other things. This is not to take away from the artistic merit of the album, but more to convey that it is rather light and upbeat material. The recording quality is good enough that you can turn the music up loud, as I suspect it was meant to be heard. Each song is unique and I think it will see many, many more times around in my CD player. The Deluxe Edition also includes a DVD-V containing the full album in both 5.1 and stereo mixes, videos, a documentary, and a photo gallery.