Don’t Fear Change
It takes a mere fifteen seconds into the opening track of Goldfrappâ€šÃ„Ã´s latest studio release, Seventh Tree to realize that the tables have turned. Gone is the pulsing bass and wavering synthesizer that dominated previous albums such as Black Cherry and Supernature, leaving an album that is eerily quiet and somewhat exquisite. Perhaps change is not such a bad thing; Seventh Tree seems a logical progression in Goldfrappâ€šÃ„Ã´s discography much as David Bowieâ€šÃ„Ã´s Berlin Trilogy was both a departure and an evolution from his Hunky Dory days. This record exemplifies Goldfrappâ€šÃ„Ã´s maturation as musicians, aptly illustrated by the prophetic lyrics of “Some People”: “but when it fades/When the glitter’s gone.” Beneath the glamour, the listener is left with an album that is both a striking departure and a bold step forward for the duo.
Producer Will Gregory has become more of a composer, trading his synthesizer for flourishing orchestral strings and piano. His production style has matured significantly, blending the atmospheric tones of Felt Mountain with the glam-influenced dance pop sound on Supernature. Allison Goldfrappâ€šÃ„Ã´s breathy, ethereal vocals on tracks such as “Happiness” and “Road to Somewhere” are reminiscent of Bjâˆšâˆ‚rk. The relationship between the duo on this album is comparable to Jackson Browne and Nico on her solo debut, Chelsea Girl; Gregoryâ€šÃ„Ã´s lush yet minimal compositions complement the introspective lyrical delivery and content of the album.