Goldfrapp - Black Cherry
If the sleeve art of Goldfrapp’s Black Cherry goes some way to suggesting bizarre 1970s’ film La Bete, the arty eroticism is continued into the music itself.
Hairy Trees appears as an attempt to convey female sexual ecstasy. Combining an invitation to “touch my garden... ride my pony” with a dreamy synth backing, it is arguably the album’s standout moment. Twist does away with any such metaphor, Alison Goldfrapp singing, “Put your dirty angel face between my legs and knicker lace," while Slippage is a sort of instrumental with added orgasm noises. Unlike some female vocalists (okay, we won't mention Kylie), Alison's sensuality never seems forced, her speciality being the kind of deep longing demonstrated on the title track.
Musically, Goldfrapp are pretty similar to the likes of Saint Etienne (pretty Avenue being a particular reference point) or Intastella, although they fall just short of nailing the perfect pop moments of the former. Lush strings make an appearance across a number of tracks, while Forever is the audio equivalent of relaxing in a deep bubble bath. Tiptoe (with its ill-advised addition of male vocals) contains bleeps probably stolen from an old computer. Most bizarrely, Train and Slippage recall the slow swagger of Iggy Pop’s Nightclubbing.
This is mostly quite nice (drifting by rather than grabbing you by the throat), but here Goldfrapp never quite transcend the synth templates marked ‘fast’ and ‘slow’, thus giving the impression of a two-trick pony.