by / January 23rd, 2008 /

Goldfrapp – Seventh Tree

 3/5 Rating



Goldfrapp – Seventh Tree (Mute)

Few things in life are certain, things in the music industry even less so. Those involved with Goldfrapp, however, must have thought they were on to a sure commercial thing with the follow up to the shiny pop beast that was Supernature. So all conquering – both critically and commercially – that only a fool or a true eccentric would mess with the formula. Well Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory ain’t no fools but….let’s just say that while Mute may have been supportive, perhaps those higher up the EMI ladder will have been less delighted by Seventh Tree.

The listener too may find it something of a challenge, with the disco ball stomp replaced by a soothing, acoustic air more reminiscent of their first record. Even then they don’t make things easy. ‘A&E’, the lovely first single, is buried towards the end of the album. To get there you have to slip through an opening salvo that doesn’t introduce a recognisable beat until track three and isn’t exactly heavy on the traditional chorus verse chorus approach. Get your head around that and Seventh Tree comes into its own. You might even call it an ambient record, if that didn’t throw up horrible images of car ads, coffee tables and dinner parties.

Even at her most laid back though, Alison Goldfrapp is a powerful presence – one that doesn’t necessarily need a horse’s head or Theremin sex toy to make its point. Yet it is an album that works best when at its most vibrant – that elegant single and ‘Caravan Girl’, the collection’s most pop and subsequently best moment.

As with their whole career, Goldfrapp have managed to confound expectation yet again and make a record that’s very easy listening tone makes it hard work.



Goldfrapp – A&E

Listen: Spotify | Bandcamp | Soundcloud | Youtube

  • Phil, I agree, it’s an album that makes you work to appreciate it and one that definitely needs a good few listens before you get it.

  • Ciara

    Wow just watched the video there wasn’t expecting that at all, that’s quite the left turn they’ve taken musically. Not impressed personally, at least their first record was laden in synths and very atmospheric, A&E is just cheesy. It can’t be a good thing that it reminded me of that Joan Osbourne song, If God was one of us from the mid nineties. Bring back the disco ball Alison!

  • Rockoni

    Aah come on. Any song that has the lyric ‘backless dress’ in it kicks Joan ‘nose-ring’ Osbourne into a burning bush. Alison was sexier with the disco-vamp think going on though. MUCH sexier… [wistfully laments].

  • Ciara

    well poor Joan is such a weak target it wouldn’t be hard. obviously there’s a huge gap between the two styles, but as a huge fan of the sexy dark electro pop sheen Goldfrapp once held, the fact that their new material even SLIGHTLY reminded me of Osbourne’s tripe is pretty disappointing. Artists change and grow though so fair enough, the new acoustic vibe just isn’t my cuppa chai 🙂

  • Well. I did like Supernature and Black Cherry, but if Seventh Tree can capture something of the essence and quality of Felt Mountain, then it’s worth a listen.

    I’m anxious on hearing it.

  • I read the reviews of this and wanted it to sound like the soundtrack to “The Wickerman”.

  • Cido

    *sigh* I was really expecting the new album to be amazing, this is as far from that as possible. If they wanted to release material like this do it under some Lilith Fair, bleeding heart, lesbian rock name. So much for electronica….

  • JAY3000

    even wil and ali have to breathe once in a while, guys…they can’t stay costumed up in a weimar/electro/disco/glam land ALLLLLLLL the time…besides, Ali G does whatever the F she wants, thats the essence of why she is so damn versatile

  • wilson

    the new album is brilliant. acoustic mellow folk psych pop with hints of lennon mccartney and alison’s vocals at their peak. its far from the euphoric electro disco of black cherry and supernature. from the beautifully melancholic opening of “clowns” to the breathy uplifting “cologne cerrone houdini” this album will stand the test of time and has confirmed their longevity.goldfrapp have matured and evolved so beautifully … 9.5/10 brilliant

  • the french guy

    I do agree with JAY3000 & wilson. I’ve been a fan since the strange smoky sounds of Felt Mountain, Black Cherry put me in so many moods at so many occasion and Supernature was kind of releashing all that pressure… so if you were expecting another electro disco LP, I think you really do not know Goldfrapp..In the musical industry, especially the UK one (compare to here in France),what I really like is artists that can overcome themselves, not trapped in a scheme because it’s flourishing… You want electro disco , well there’s enough artist in that niche.. Plus yeah, artists do whatever the F they want…….
    I’ve been listening to Seventh Tree for a couple of weeks now (thans to a friend in the Music Biz’) and it’s exactly what I needed to hear: something new & fresh, very at the opposite of what’s on the radio lately…….Alison’s voice is incredible and can’t wait for the gig in Paris in April!

  • Blind witch

    Video – Poor girl – caught in the 1986 Henson’s movie Labyrinth – Just waiting for bowie to turn up any minute ( He’s probably in the tent)

  • Ash

    Im on my second listening to the album right now. Personally i was hoping Goldfrapp would go back to the felt mountain style and this is as close as its going to get for me, 7 years later!
    Glad they did too…great for my 1 hour drive in the LA freeway morning rush as i still listen to the 1st CD a lot. If you see a driver with a happy smile at 8am, its probably me listening to this!

  • cosatrit

    It seems Goldfrapp managed to achieve something rare, bring in funs that have completely different musical backgrounds and therefore perspectives. I’m an old fun which basically means I consider Felt Mountain to represent the ultimate level. I did like Black Cherry although it was ”lighter” because Goldfrapp seemed to really engoy making it. Supernature however was a huge disappointment – it felt like Goldfrapp used (with remarkable results as it turned out) the current mainstream recipe for success in order to pay the bills. Fair enough. But Seventh Tree? Maybe they got tired ”riding horses” (you know, after a while your butt hurts), maybe they felt like pleasing us the followers from the past. I don’t know why but I’m surely thankful they did it.

    I won’t even bother to criticize the original review – the guy seems to believe all blonde chics should follow the FORMULA (brrr…it got chilly all of a sudden).

  • I really like Felt Mountain, liked half of Black Cherry, and then got turned off by Supernature.

    I’ve listened to Seventh Tree a few times now and like it, it’s not quite as kooky as early lovelies like Deer Stop (I wish they developed that style), but it shares the same vibe as their first album – with added folk beauty and pop hookery.

  • Colum’s column

    To me, it’s their strongest album to date (Yes, I have the other 3 and saw them live last year in the Olympia)…

    7th tree is deeply multilayered in melodic luvliness. I don’t want to listen to the other 5 CD’s in my car stereo (which at present include real goodies from Kraftwerk, peter gabriel, Tori Amos, New Order and Kate Bush). It’s most like Felt Mountain, but (dare I say) even more mature in the songcraft. Highly recommended…

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