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Goldfrapp - Black Cherry

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While being an almost ubiquitous presense on chillout albums over the last 2 years, Goldfrapp have quietly lingered on the sidelines, turning out albums of universally adored electronica rarely heard in their entirety. This is both the blessing and the curse of compilation albums: a well placed track can lead someone to a deserving artist's catalog, but in this track-driven day and age, you have to hope it'll happen that way.

For me, I was hooked the moment the churning opening notes to first single Train blared off MTV2 last summer. (Seems like ages ago that MTV2 played anything other than rap and R&B, but it was just last summer!) Upon purchasing Black Cherry, the 3rd collection from new synth god Will Gregory and the band's namesake, Alison Goldfrapp, I was enthralled by the world they'd created-- both light and dark. chilled and warm, subtle and overwhelming... but one certainly worth staying in for awhile.

Goldfrapp - Black Cherry

Goldfrapp - Black Cherry

Mute Records
Opener Crystalline Green is a burst of grab 'em while ya got 'em synth joy, while Train is the past year's best unknown treasure. New single Strict Machine may be the hammer that finally taps America on the shoulder hard enough to get its attention, though. Already it's shown up on American television in video game commercials.

And lest you think it's all synth blast and electronica swirling, Alison Goldfrapp's endearingly chirpy vocals can conform to a golden throated tone, wrapping around lush singles like title track Black Cherry and chillout fave Deep Honey. This is a rare electronica album of warmth and depth, the first of its kind since the Cardigans' criminally-ignored Gran Turismo in 1998. It's the ultimate chillout pleasure-- all chiller, no filler.

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