Goldfrapp: We Are Glitter

Though one expects a remix album to offer a more distanced portrait of the artist in question, We Are Glitter turns out to be the diametric exception to the rule. While Goldfrapp's third full-length Supernature offers no shortage of neon-lit pop pleasure, it also sounds almost too air-tight, like a beautiful object one admires yet refrains from touching for fear of destroying such perfection. The A-list remixers that overhaul many of the album's songs on We Are Glitter loosen the reins and consequently render Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory's music all the more inviting and accessible in the process.

Indicating just how amenable the original material is to contrasting approaches, the set includes contributions from both Múm and T.Raumschmiere. “You Never Know” and “Number 1” ostensibly become Múm tracks with Alison functioning as guest singer, while The Flaming Lips add a patina of psychedelia to “Satin Chic” but not a whole lot else; T.Raumschmiere, on the other hand, proves himself an ideal Goldfrapp partner by dirtying up “Lovely 2 C U” with a grinding drum pulse and exposing the decadent heart throbbing at the tune's core.

We Are Glitter works best, however, and in many cases fabulously, when it visits the disco. Wholly unlike Múm's nursery-room lullaby rendering, Alan Braxe and Fred Falke illuminate “Number 1” with euphoric electro fire, Benny Benassi gives “Ooh La La” a pumping Euro-swing trance overhaul, and Ewan Pearson fleshes out the erotic side of “Ride A White Horse” while François K. and Eric Kupper turn it into an infectious electro-stomp. Carl Craig's ‘C2” remix of “Fly Me Away” pulsates with house fever but the tune's as (if not more) notable for the “I Feel Love” echoes that persist throughout (imagine how the song might have sounded had Craig had persuaded Donna Summer to appear alongside Alison in a “Fly Me Away”- “I Feel Love” mashup). Prepare to settle in, though, as We Are Glitter's stuffed to the gills at 76 minutes (DFA's rapturous “Slide In” almost—almost—justifies its thirteen-minute length), meaning that we could probably get by without one of the Múm cuts and dispense with Goldfrapp's own grinding remix of Black Cherry's “Strict Machine.”

January 2007