Some time after Goldfrapp released Black Cherry, I read a review that called it “dinner party music” for thirty-somethings – musically tasteful enough for company, but edgy enough to show your credentials. Although clearly intended as a dig at said thirty-somethings, I secretly hankered after the idea of one day, growing up to be one of those people: inside a relationship, inside a pristine, airy house, inside a circle of friends.
Anyway, now I know I am not destined to be such a person. Instead I have grown into a lactic acid filled (more on this anon) thirty-something who has just burned tomorrow’s stew, and is desperately scouring the Net trying to work out what the hell all these songs are about before she has to go to bed in order to get up in time for a cycle and train scramble into work tomorrow.
When I saw over the weekend that Tales of Us was out, it made me feel nostalgic and curious. I was surprised that the reviews were lukewarm. The critics said, “good, but homogenous”. Amazon said, “it didn’t sound like the last album”. But I took a chance and this morning we had Goldfrapp’s latest to smooth the edges off our extremely crunchy helpings of data in the office.
I do very much like the sameness and homogeneity of the album – it saves that annoying bit on some albums when you come across a track you don’t like and have to stop what you are doing to press skip. But it’s more than that; after the slightly gimmicky and provocatively edgy feel to some of Goldfrapp’s past images and offerings, this album feels real and heartfelt and above all, there’s a definite confidence that says it’s OK to move beyond the thirty-something dinner party scene. That says, “Maybe it’s time to leave behind what everyone else thinks…”
On my night time attempts at unravelling the stories behind the songs, I discover a gay wartime romance; and a hermaphrodite;
and Alison Goldfrapp says herself that Drew is about past relationships and nostalgia:
Beyond that, it’s too late at night to wonder any further. Besides being stories they are beautiful songs, which I am sure I will discover more about over time. Meanwhile, enjoy this picture of a rainbow, which I took on my drive in to learn how to climb tonight:
There may be more words written on this adventure tomorrow, although that is wholly dependent on whether I still have the strength left in my arms to type by then. (Think – clinging on for dear life as the chosen path turns out to have been horribly misjudged… I did have a good time though!)
Meanwhile, you could do worse than have a listen: