I want to see you one more time,
Put your dirty angel face,
Between my legs and knicker lace."
Goldfrapp are a British electronic duo formed in 1999 by Alison Goldfrapp (vocals/synthesizer) and Will Gregory (synthesizer).
Their style has changed over the years - each album sounds very different to the one before, but roughly speaking, Felt Mountain and Seventh Tree are more subdued (the former is mainly electronic, the latter picks up a Folktronica influence), Supernature and Head First are more danceable (the former being electropop, the latter disco and very 80s-influenced), and Black Cherry seems to split the last two somewhat equally. This can lead to a bit of a Broken Base sometimes.
"Felt Mountain" is known for its trip-hop influences and movie-soundtrack sound, "Black Cherry" as the electro-clash album, "Supernature" as more straightforward electropop (and the first time they integrated electric guitar into their music), "Seventh Tree" as folktronica, "Head First" as 1980s revival disco pop, and Tales Of Us as a blend of Seventh Tree and Felt Mountain.
They have quite a large worldwide fanbase, due to their various styles and frequent commercial usage.
Alison Goldfrapp is also known for her work as a session vocalist with Orbital, Tricky, and others.
DiscographyTheir discography runs as follows:
- Felt Mountain (2000)
- Black Cherry (2003)
- Supernature (2005)
- Seventh Tree (2008)
- Head First (2010)
- The Singles (2012)
- Tales Of Us (2013)
- Silver Eye (2017)
- Wonderful Electric (DVD/CD, 2003)
- My Summer of Love (soundtrack, 2004)
- We Are Glitter (remix album, 2006)
I'm in love with the trope machine...:
- The '80s: All of "Head First" sounds extremely 80s. If you played it for someone without telling them when it was made they would probably think it was real 80s music.
- Album Title Drop: "Black Cherry".
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: From "Fondue Knights": "Feel so small/underneath these skies/this dirty porn star/isn't big enough." Wait, what?!
- Call-Back: Whether intentional or not, "Caravan Girl" (We'll run away, run away, you and me.) seems to reference "Twist" (I want to run away with you, your caravan and rabbit stew.)
- The Cameo: Appeared on an episode of The L Word performing "Ride A White Horse" live.
- Careful with That Axe: "Slippage"
- Celebrity Resemblance: Alison Goldfrapp has a rather strong resemblance to Marlene Dietrich, as well as looking somewhat like Madonna
- Darker and Edgier: "Black Cherry". Their remix for Lady Gaga's "Judas" does this for the original song, Up to Eleven.
- Deadpan Snarker: Alison does this occasionally. For example:Interviewer: On "Clowns", you're singing about people who deliberately put themselves in the spotlight. What was your direct inspiration for that song?Alison: Boobs!Interviewer: Excuse me?
- Deliberately Monochrome: The music videos and album cover for "Tales of Us" are shot in black and white.
- Dream Team:
- Early Installment Weirdness: Felt Mountain is quite surprising for fans introduced through their later work. However, it is still often cited as their masterpiece, for perhaps the same reasons.
- Eye Scream: "Little Bird": "Though much to her surprise, he had two mouths for eyes." Way to freak us all out there, guys...
- The Faceless: Will Gregory doesn't appear in promotional materials or their album covers, and in fact it's easy to forget he's the other member of the band at all (see I Am the Band).
- Fight Fur Your Right to Party: As mentioned below, a lot of their videos (and live performances) involve people in animal costumes (also related to Surreal Music Video).
- Furry Confusion: The video for Strict Machine involves dog-headed people, at the end shown to be walking normal dogs.
- Hotter and Sexier: Black Cherry as compared to Felt Mountain.
- "Twist" is pretty explicitly about cunnilingus, for example: "Put your dirty angel face / Between my legs and knicker lace". Yeah.
- I Am the Band: Subverted. Because she is the singer and the band takes her last name, many people assume Alison is a solo artist.
- The Immodest Orgasm: "Twist" has one of them, and it almost equals the one from "Love To Love You" by Donna Summer.
- "Slippage" has one too.
- Incredibly Long Note: "Slippage". That scream is long, drawn out, and utterly ecstatic.
- Indecipherable Lyrics: "Clowns".
- Intercourse with You: By the truckload (Probably every song on Black Cherry) - "Crystalline Green", "Train", "Twist", "Slippage", "Strict Machine", "Ooh La La", "Little Death", "Hairy Trees"...
- "Strict Machine" is probably Intercourse With Marital Aids.
- In the Style of...: The song "I Wanna Life" was criticized for sounding like Irene Cara (of Flashdance fame).
- Keep Circulating the Tapes: There are a few tracks that are very hard to find since they were never released on an album. The most well known- "Little Death", "Sartorius" and "Fondue Knights"- were played during the Felt Mountain era, since Goldfrapp only had the songs from Felt Mountain to play and needed other songs to play at concerts. It's also quite hard to find songs like "White Soft Rope" and "Gone To Earth", which only appeared on singles.
- Last Note Nightmare: "Deer Stop".
- Lighter and Softer: Seventh Tree was much lighter compared to Supernature.
- Lyrical Dissonance: Every song on Seventh Tree.
- Notably A&E, which is actually about waking up in the hospital after a drug overdose born of desperation and being ignored by a lover.
- A version of this appears in the video for "Alive". The video is entirely dark and creepy because the song and lyrics are so bright and happy.
- "Hairy Trees" is a beautiful, downtempo song with a weird, nonsensical name.
- "I Wanna Life" is an upbeat disco-y 80s sounding song about someone with a really lonely and unsatisfying life."
- Lyrical Shoehorn: "Train", "Deer Stop", "You Never Know"
- Mind Screw: The videos for "Ride A White Horse" and "Alive", the last appearing to be a cross between Xanadu, an exercise video and a Satanic ritual.
- Ms. Fanservice: Alison. Look at any of their music videos and get impressed.
- New Sound Album: Every single one. From cinematic, spy-film ambience (Felt Mountain), to poppy electroclash (Black Cherry), to 70's glam (Supernature), to soothing folktronica (Seventh Tree), to 80's synthpop (Head First), to atmospheric baroque pop (Tales of Us), and glitchy synthpop (Silver Eye).
- Nice Hat: Alison often wears top hats or other fancy headgear, likely in a homage to Marlene Dietrich, whom she resembles.
- Non-Appearing Title: "Hairy Trees", "Koko", "Deep Honey", and others.
- Not Safe for Work: The music videos for "Train" and "Drew".
- Obligatory Bondage Song: One interpretation of "Strict Machine".
- One-Woman Song: Of the tracks on Tales Of Us, half of them fall under this trope ("Annabel", "Ulla", "Thea", "Simone", "Laurel"), several are instead a Spear Counterpart ("Alvar", "Clay"), some are unisex names ("Drew", "Jo") and only one isn't someone's name ("Stranger").
- The Oner: The music video for "Happiness."
- Pep-Talk Song: "Happiness", big time.Join our group and you will find
Harmony and peace of mind
Make you better
We're here to welcome you
We're all on a journey to
Finding the real inner you
Make you better (make you better)
We're here to welcome you
Happiness, how did you get to be
Happiness, how did you get to find
Love, real love
Love, love, love
- Precision F-Strike: Paper Bag from Felt Mountain opens with the lyric "No time to fuck / But you love the rush".
- Pretty in Mink: Alison wears a lot of furs.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "How? Long? Now? Honestly, how? Long? Now?" from "You Never Know"
- To an extent, "Koko".
- Reprise Medley: "Forever", the second-last track on Black Cherry, has elements of "Crystalline Green" and the Title Track, from the beginning of the album.
- Retraux: The entirety of Head First is very 80s sounding. "Alive" and "I Wanna Life", in particular.
- Rule of Symbolism: The music video for "Annabel" is in black and white but the color returns after the titular Annabel — an intersex child who is raised as a boy — receives a sparkling dress from her mother, which signifies that she can be herself.
- Sanity Slippage Song: "Slippage"
- She Also Did: Alison has done guest vocals for Tricky's song "Pumpkin", and quite a few Orbital songs.
- Shout-Out: In "I Wanna Life" - "A nowhere bar that's like a TARDIS".
- Singing Simlish: "Oompa Radar", "Felt Mountain", "Slippage", "Voicething" and "Gone To Earth".
- Also "Clowns" and "Eat Yourself," which do have lyrics but are barely decipherable.
- Soprano and Gravel: One of the reason why Goldfrapp is so acclaimed by critics and listeners alike. Alison is able to shift between a low, sonorous, purring croon, to a sexy, high-pitched falsetto.
- Surreal Music Video: The videos for "Ride A White Horse", "Alive" and "Number 1".
- Textless Album Cover: Silver Eye is their first album to not have the Goldfrapp logo on the actual artwork. (A removable sticker on the CD case has that information)
- Train Song: "Train", obviously, though it's more about being a trainwreck.
- Unusual Euphemism: "Touch my garden" from "Hairy Trees".
- Word Salad Lyrics