The peculiar flip-flop trajectory of Goldfrapp’s career continues with Tales of Us, on which they eschew the electropop of 2010’s Head First in favour of a more sensuous, intimate style that owes much to Kate Bush.
The delicate guitar and piano figures and the sombre languor of strings behind Alison Goldfrapp’s breathy vocals create something akin to a cross between the dreamlike mythopoeism of old folk tales and the lush cinematic arrangements of Michel Legrand. Painted in subtle poetic strokes, the tales deal even-handedly with tragedy, desire and betrayal; the characters trapped in Gordian quandaries rooted in their own natures. Especially beautiful is “Clay”, whose true story of a tragic wartime gay romance is blessed with a heart-stoppingly euphoric melody.
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