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Goldfrapp : Silver Eye

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Across much of Silver Eye, mood takes precedence over narrative. The preferencing of imagery over heavy-handed storytelling has always been key to Goldfrapp’s aesthetic. The absence of words is also used effectively: verses are often interspersed with instrumental breaks that help build momentum. Walls of synth rise with purpose, as if in slow motion.
 
Alison Goldfrapp’s vocals are as engaging as ever. Her lower register is growling – almost guttural – while her head voice is breathy and warm. This contrast (further bolstered through vocal reverb) is used to great effect.
 
The album is best enjoyed as a body of work, but there are some particularly strong moments, such as the sleek Systematic. One imagines that the same marketers who have employed Ooh La La and Strict Machine – arguably Goldfrapp’s best-recognised songs – to soundtrack car adverts over the last decade will soon be adding Systematic to their sync lists.
 
Another highlight is Moon In Your Mouth. As with all of Goldfrapp’s best work, it’s both pensive and cinematic (“we’re looking at the moon/It’s the same face we all see”), without tipping into the melodramatic. A rare combination, indeed.
 
By John Rowley