Saturday, March 08, 2014

Tales of us

One website which I frequently access is the online version of 'Sound on Sound' magazine, the self-styled "world's best recording technology magazine". Whilst most of the material there is of little interest to me, there are always one or two nuggets which I read avidly. The most recent issues of the magazine are subscription only, but after a few months, all the articles can be accessed without cost.

The articles which most attract me are in the 'classic tracks' series. In 10/13, there was a very informative article about the recording of the first Clash album, which doubtless would mean more to me if I had ever listened to the Clash. In 11/13, the first (truncated) article which caught my eye was an interview with musician Will Gregory who explains how Goldfrapp's latest album, Tales Of Us, differs from its predecessor, Head First. "We wanted to step away from that and towards something more acoustic.”

This intrigued me. The name 'Goldfrapp' had crossed my radar previously as possibly an act that I might like, but whatever I heard didn't find favour in this corner. Something more acoustic, however, stood a good chance of being liked. I downloaded the album a few days ago, started listening to it in the evening and by the third track, I realised that I was listening to something really good.

I haven't listened to anything else for the past few days! I have ordered the cd, thus ensuring that Goldfrapp get their royalty from me.

The main attractions are the whispery vocals of Alison Goldfrapp (I have no idea what she's singing about, and to be honest, I don't really care) and the orchestral arrangements of Will Gregory. Some of the songs are relatively simple whereas others are very dramatic; unusually for me, I haven't yet properly elucidated the structure of the songs - I let the entire album wash over me.

I can hear echoes of Kate Bush, whose influence is strong on one or two songs, and even of Robin Frederick.

As the modern idiom has it, this record ticks my boxes.

I can hardly wait for April, when the entire article will become available for reading.

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