Goldfrapp: Supernature

Having already apparently won over the UK (NME hailed Supernature as “the best pop album of 2005”), Goldfrapp's plan for world domination continues apace with the release of its third full-length. Though Felt Mountain (2000) and Black Cherry (2003) brought Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory ample attention, Supernature impresses even more with its brash, ultra-polished gleam and effervescent disco-electro fusion.

The album storms out of the gate with a trio of electric anthems. Nope, “Ooh La La” isn't a cover of The Face's classic but a campy, T.Rex-styled glam-rock shuffle with Alison's pleading come-on powered by a dirty bass buzz and handclaps. The rousing throbber “Lovely 2 C U” maintains the sugary pop high of the opener, while “Ride A White Horse” boasts hooks that'll lodge themselves within your head for days.

But then the mood shifts. “You Never Know” opts for dramatic, almost operatic ambiance while the bewitching ballad “Let It Take You” exposes the group's vulnerable side with a deliciously plaintive vocal. Goldfrapp revisits the style near album's end with the melodramatic sweep of “Time Out From the World,” showcasing a plangent dimension that elevates the duo's sound. Even when the album settles into pure pop mode (“Fly Me Away”), the sound is still lush, and it's hard to resist the disc's quietly euphoric closer “Number 1” (“‘Cos you're my number one / I'm like a dog to get you”). Though wholly calculated—what pop music isn't?—there's no denying the allure of the group's disco-tronic sound.

April 2006