Welcome to the new Goldfrapp forum. Enjoy your new home! X
`Tales Of Us` - Reviews By Us
  • 179 Comments sorted by
  • Vesper said:

    no surprise, right?

    Not at all. After their irrationally negative review of Seventh Tree, I just don't trust them anymore when it comes to Goldfrapp.
    I had a king in a tenement castle, lately he's taken to painting the pastel walls brown. He's taken the curtains down. He's swept with the broom of contempt, and the rooms have an empty ring. He's cleaned with the tears of an actor who fears for the laughter's sting...
  • Joey said:

    Vesper said:

    no surprise, right?

    Not at all. After their irrationally negative review of Seventh Tree, I just don't trust them anymore when it comes to Goldfrapp.

    They gave Lil Wayne a higher score than Seventh Tree. After that I completely disregarded everything they had to say. I still do. Such a predictable review.

  • I guess since Felt Mountain was how I first discovered Goldfrapp I would say I love Tales of Us!!! It's like Felt Mountain 2.0!!! Can't stop listening to it and after having gone to the Beacon Theater on September 10 an seen it performed live and meeting Allison after the show this album just already has so many good feelings attached to it for me. Don't get me wrong I love all of her albums but I was waiting for her return to her Felt Mountain roots. I get tired of reading reviews or articles referring to Allison and Wil as just a electronica group. They are so much more. I am just very glad to hear them return to the sound that originally made me a Goldfrapp fan in the first place. Dare I say this might be in a close race with Felt Mountain as my favorite album??? Or maybe I still have not come off of cloud nine after Tuesday night in New York and meeting Allison and taking a picture with her. I guess only time will tell as I listen to the album over and over and over again.
  • new name, but the same old crow!

    I'd like to say I thought the new record was as marvelous as everyone else does, but you know that that's not my style. I've just played the new thing then put Felt Mountain on. Why is one still stunning after 12 years and the other doesn't even come close?

    maybe things were just fresh and new back then? Sure they were... just go and listen to Felt Mountain, she sings brilliantly with passion and conviction, and the whole album has a depth to it, with the cello's scraping away and the brass tooting along to the electronics  it's a masterpiece simple as that. Sure, everything was still fresh and new. But, they sure sound like they're scraping the crowd pleasing barrel now. Worse still they seem unaware  themselves what made Felt Mountain so good!

    I thought Head First was to be their absolute nadir, but it doesn't look that way. Head First was bad, it was sloppy, mis-judged, lazy  but in a strange way it had a kind of comedy value, but Tales is just sad.
    It's sad because it's obvious that they were trying to make a good record, by Alison's own admission that Head First "wasn't a good record" and that she was unhappy with it, so it's clear she saw Tales as a challenge to return to form and credibility. That, Goldfrapp, the same Goldfrapp who had made Felt Mountain had fallen so low and so far would have seemed unthinkable back in 2000/2001. But then they go and turn out a record that Pitchfork rightfully describes as 'dreary' and 'unimaginative' and devoid of emotion. As they say it really is 'unforgivable'.

    Actually Tales doesn't really sound like Felt at all. Superficially most of the tracks of Tales sound like bits of the string sections from Horse Tears, and there's one track, the name escapes me, that sounds like you could sing Paper Bag along to it without too much trouble... but there's no brass, no quirky electronics and what hurts the most, the difference in Alisons vocals is shocking. Too many fags Dear? There's not a single song where she actually sings from start to finish. It's all pasted together isn't it? She sings a line and then it's cut off, sounds weird... So it sounds like one of those computer generated phone menus.

    Too bad that's the end of the road then, their career reminds me of this:

    Post edited by la_catalina at 2013-09-12 17:42:41
  • Post edited by la_catalina at 2013-09-12 17:45:18
  • I currently don't see any end in sight.

  • L.a. Catalina - spoken like a Q Magazine reviewer.
    "Read my posts and see why we`re not allowed nice things anymore"
    photo 5a6eb769-bc12-4596-bbe8-709fc2bb0d5e.jpg
    "Brought to you straight from the People`s Republic of There`s Something Wrong With You . The Hoi Polloi Capital of the World"
  • The return of the thin white duchess? Hi corvina!

    I was disappointed with Head First, but don't agree with most of your opinions & criticisms of TOU.

    Personally, the fact there's little sign of a synth in there doesn't bother me at all. And her voice? Well, it's 13 years since FM and Alison (like us!) ain't a young 'un any more.. there was bound to be some drop-off in the vocal gymnastics. But I think tracks like Thea and Laurel demonstrate she's still got am amazing range... in fact the latter showcases a vocal style that might only arrive with age. And those of us that saw them live this year can attest that there was very little trickery applied to her vocals... in the studio.

    Always good to hear differing opinions, but you do sound rather bitter! I'm so chuffed they (IMO) have had a return to form and many, many others seem to agree.

  • OMG la cortina is back - how we've missed your barbs and unreadable text!  You've not liked anything since FM if I remember rightly?
    You're right TOU is no FM2 but they wouldn't be Goldfrapp if they did the same thing again. I'm not yet convinced  that TOU is quite as good as FM or 7T - it's possibly a bit too even. But I am sure that Alison's vocals are as amazing as ever.
  • Well, I already posted in the best to worst thread but I'll go again here. :)

    So far, I'm not entirely sure I know what to make of it on a song by song basis, but as an album, it's probably Goldfrapp's most cohesive album along with Seventh Tree. It's also, I think, going to be considered their "difficult" album; as difficult as Felt Mountain sometimes sounded, it had easier melodies and structures to cling to. Here the songs meander more, and there's no flashy synthesizers to cling to if you can't work it all out, or an easier song to help cut through the fog (save for maybe Clay or Thea, but they're not exactly Top 40 material á la Ooh La La).
    Having said all that, I think it'll go down as one of their best albums, if not the best. As difficult an album as it is, the melodies are stunning, as are the arrangements. Alison's voice is beautiful as ever, but this time you can hear it better, and that's a very, very good thing. Her voice is so expressive, and on this album that quality is put to the forefront. The atmosphere conjured up here is otherworldly, and though I can see its eerie mellowness being too much for some people, I think it's fantastic. My one problem with the album so far is that one or two songs like Stranger and Ulla aren't memorable at all (... I can't even remember what they sound like until I hear them again), but that's only a minor quibble, as they work much better in the context the album gives them.
    Special mention goes to the lyrics, too. It's nice to hear lyrics that actually tell stories, and there's enough stories here to fill 10 books. Laurel and Jo are two of the best tracks here in that sense, I think, and most reviewers highlighted Clay in this area and I'm inclined to agree; I think they're the best lyrics Ms. Goldfrapp has ever written.
    Overall I was expecting a return to form with this album as I always think Goldfrapp are better when they're in this quieter, more withdrawn mood like Seventh Tree and Felt Mountain, but I wasn't expecting such a stunner of a piece of work. I was expecting Seventh Tree Part 2 in a lot of ways, or something poppy with folk tinges, but this is for obvious reasons far more satisfying. Seriously a contender for my favourite album this year, 9.5/10!
  • hello formergophers  :-h

  • Hi from me too.
  • Forget NME and Pitchfork folks ... that, la_catalina, is a BAD review :). Is that you Corvina? If so welcome back. Lovely to have you back to balance out all this adoration. No piece of art is beyond criticism ;-).

    The problem I have had with this record is I haven't listened to it enough (I had the leak 4 weeks ago). I got a hard copy this week to re inspire me. It was better this week, higher quality and it doesn't start with Alvar (mis labeled on leak as Jo). That was awful. Really bad way of starting the record.

    Musically I can't fault it. It is beautifully crafted. There isn't a duff track ...and these tracks, unlike previous albums can't hide behind sequenced synth riffs and cool noises. They HAVE to work as songs. Also this album feels like a proper album (I though the last 2 albums were just a collection of tracks - especially 7T) and tracks like Drew, when listened to loud, really get you to 'that special place'. So what's wrong?

    Like I said on another thread, the new Arcade Fire single is exciting the shit out of me this week (i have to play the video at least twice a day) ...but it's not the same with TOU. Interestingly Arcade Fire (a band i liked but didn't love) have gone in a direction I didn't expect and it seems perfect for them. Like they were meant to be doing it that way all along. This is why i'm excited. Maybe this direction for Goldfrapp seems to safe and obvious for me? It's like they could have done this album any time but didn't want to in the past as they wanted to experiment. And I like the experiments. There was a good quote in a review on the Electrcity Club website : ‘Tales Of Us’ is a beautifully produced work with a sense of inner macabre but the enigmatic oddness that made ‘Felt Mountain’ so enticing is ultimately missing.'  I totally agree with this. For me this is not FM.  Maybe this explains the way some of the reviews are going. I do miss the quirky bit's of Goldfrapp. That was always one of the thing's that made them different. Partly why I loved them for Head First. Who else would do that in their position?

    In some ways this could also be down to me being so familiar with their work and the expectations I have. I also have a theory that bands/artists have a 10 year / 5 album time limit to hit their peak. Partly because you know them too well after a period of time and the magic isn't there like it was when you first heard them. It's very rare any band (that have had success) ever do their best work after this period. When FM came out it stood out from the trip-hop crowd in the subtle way it was crafted and it's quirky cinematic reference points. Then they totally counterbalanced that with the electro edge of BC. But when you do that too many times there is always a danger you end up losing your identity.

    There are a few things that niggle me. I don't mind the plucked guitar, but there are too many song intro's that start that way. For me this is to obvious a way to start a song so many times. I kind of expect Goldfrapp to have done something original with this. Also I think on quite a few of the songs Ali's vocal style seems to be hitting a default whispering slur. I don't think she has lost her voice ( la_catalina 'Too many fags Dear?' really :-)) but for me it's like she is straining to follow the melody in some cases, not sure where it should go. But then on others she nails it.

    But as i have said, it's a great album. I enjoy listening to it. I don't skip tracks. Track order is good (a first for me with Frapp). As an album I think it's better than Supernature, Seventh Tree and Head First. I think by December it may mean more to me. It's not a summer record, for me it's all about reflection and long walks on autumn days seeing leaves fall and thinking about the years gone by. It will probably serve a purpose like Beck's Lonesome Tears. When i'm in the mood it is brilliant, but not every day. But then it's hard to say it's a classic as doesn't break any musical boundaries.

    I hope i don't seem to negative but I'm just being honest about my emotional response to it. It's like the new Bowie album. It doesn't matter how great everyone says it is and how musically great it is (and it wins the Mercury music prize). For me it will never command the emotional response to his earlier work. And that's how great records should effect you. Maybe I am at this point with Goldfrapp now. Who knows?
    Post edited by tattmaylor at 2013-09-13 09:49:56
  • ^ sounds like a reasonable and considered opinion to me, not negative.

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!