Ayo Jegede
reviews editor
June 01, 2003
Amazon Disco:
No. 1 No. 1
November 1, 2005
Mute U.S.
Black Cherry Black Cherry
May 6, 2003
Mute U.S.
Felt Mountain Felt Mountain
September 19, 2000
Mute U.S.
Felt Mountain Felt Mountain
December 0000
Black Cherry Black Cherry
July 13, 2004
Mute U.S.
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Black Cherry

3 years after the sleeper hit Felt Mountain the duo of Will Gregory and Allison Goldfrapp release Black Cherry, what one could call refined bestiality without getting arrested. the album notes, web page, and the album itself are all marked by a noticeably feral attitude. Gregory and Goldfrapp--herein called Goldfrapp--decided to be more blatant with this release and on all 10 tracks it works. the album is successful in capturing the hyper-sexualized motivations in various musical genres, most notably 80's synth-pop. songs like the lead single 'Train' show more of an embellished sexual appetite than that of their timid predecessor while 'Crystaline Green' and 'Tiptoe' start off the same way but end in an orchestral apogee and denouement, rivaling Bjork at her most stirring and poetic. Allison even lets out a scream at the end of 'Twist' which sounds something like 70's soul, albeit more sexual in nature. what this album lacks in subtlety it makes up in posture and artistic sass. unfortunately this is also part of the problem.

Felt Mountain was such a great album precisely because it was subtle, lulling the listener towards the cusp of 50's lounge music before quietly reminding you that, like Portishead, they were actually 50 years ahead. sexuality was one of the messages in Felt Mountain, but it was also intermingled with other images and ideas to create a haunting dynamism. because Black Cherry is so one-dimensional it fails to inspire vivid interpretation even while abstaining from total redundancy. with sexuality reigning so often it's difficult to really play an active role in the listening process and becomes a slight let-down. but with Black Cherry the message they sought to portray was so lucidly done that to add another dimension would probably require a whole thematic overwrite. sure, it's a passive listen. but at least Goldfrapp don't make it a dull one. this work is colorful, effulgent, and motivated.
more than i can say for quite a few releases in electronica in the last year or so.

Release date: May 6, 2003
Label: Mute U.S.
Rating: 9.0 / 10