Tales of Us - Goldfrapp

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Tales of Us - Goldfrapp

1 CD(s) - Electronic - Label: Mute - Distributor: PIAS UK/Arvato Services - Released: 09/09/2013 - 5099961576025

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65% positive

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Review of "Tales of Us - Goldfrapp"

published 22/09/2013 | alliewallie
Member since : 19/06/2013
Reviews : 494
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About me :
You may see me on Dooyoo busily posting 400 reviews after my procrastination about the site made me leave it too late, I joined and two weeks later they closed down!!
Pro Some good tracks
Cons Some very poor tracks
very helpful
Quality and consistency of tracks
Cover / Inlay Design and Content
Value for Money

"Tales of Boredom"

A beautiful cover

A beautiful cover

My boyfriend is a big fan of Goldfrapp so we've had their new album, Tales of Us, since the day it was released last month after he preordered it. I'm not a fan but have always found the female vocalist to have voice that interests me and even if I don't like a song I can always carry on listening because of her way of singing, I didn't know anything about Tales of Us until I started listening to it and now I've heard it a few times I think it's quite weak compared to their previous albums but still enjoyable to listen to occasionally (but not as much as my boyfriend has been listening to it!!).


This is quite a short album at under 50 minutes in length, and when you look at the track list you'll see they're all named after people (apart from Stranger but that's about an unnamed person). The theme of the album is a short look into the lives of these people, it's a touching idea but I thought Goldfrapp lacked the passion to bring these people to life in a way that other artists do when singing of the life of third person characters. Some of the tracks are extremely haunting but some of them I think are very middle of the road, lacking in the usual flair of Goldfrapp: a few of the songs I think are actually dull to listen to and I can't think of any other Goldfrapp songs where I'd use that word!!

I've listened to the album all the way through several times because my boyfriend is a bit funny about skipping tracks but when I'm in charge of the stereo remote (not very often!!) I skip through to the ones I like best as some parts of Tales of Us grates on my nerves. I like the fact that most tracks on the album come in at around 4 minutes because for me that's the optimum time for easy listening, there's at least one much longer song however and that's one of the plus points of the album so maybe I'm wrong to automatically dismiss longer than average songs.


Of the ten tracks on Tales of Us, I like a round half with the other half being a mix of active dislikes or disinteresting songs. If you buy the bonus deluxe CD edition you will receive two extra discs, an audio CD featuring other Goldfrapp tracks and a DVD containing two music videos. My boyfriend bought the standard MP3 download so I can't comment on the extras, but on the whole I think the main album is well produced with a good overall sound and the songs have been arranged in a sensible order: whether you like the individual songs or not they run smoothly together and that makes for an enjoyable listening experience.

My favourite song on the album is Drew, a track I think Goldfrapp are going to release as a single if they haven't already. This is a beautiful soft song that Alison Goldfrapp sings with passion that makes me think of their earlier stuff and for me this song is the highlight of the album, the lyrics are substantial with less of the pretentious aura that I think comes across in many of the other tracks on Tales of Us. Musically Drew is also a nod towards the golden days of Goldfrapp with amazing guitar work and atmospheric violins that allow the speed of the song to build into something that is both interesting and slightly melodramatic towards the end.

Jo is the first song and I think that is a funny one to start off with because it's so old fashioned and I don't think it sounds like it suits Goldfrapp. It will probably be one that hardcore fans like because it's a bit quirky with music that sounds like it should be played in the Tudor age, Alison Goldfrapp sounds good against the music because she's given her vocals a wavering and innocent sound but I can't enjoy it too much because it sounds so strange to my ears.

I like Thea because the electronic instrumentals are interesting and hold my interest, I wouldn't say this is a track that is exciting or emotional but it's more easy listening than many others on the album. The drums are great in this song and they make it one of the more upbeat tracks, but Alison has given herself a strange voice here and to my ears she sounds a little bit like Prince (or the artist formerly known as!!) and that grates on me sometimes even though I think the song overall is fascinating.

Stranger is good, there's a lot of atmosphere in the music. The vocals are similar in tone to Drew with Alison sounding more breathless than in other tracks, I think it's moving and the lyrics make you think as you listen to them. I always think this is a bit of an interlude in the songs on the album because it's extremely haunting, and that combined with it not being named after a person makes it not seem like it's part of the album in a way.

My least favourite is Ulla because it's too catchy and the sound doesn't seem like classic Goldfrapp, the singing and music sound like they're out of their comfort zone in this track and there are another few that are like this if you listen to the album from start to finish. Simone is another one I don't like but for the opposite reason that it's too droning and dull, there's no personality to the song at all even though you can feel the vocals trying to inject something of interest into it.


I think Tales of Us is bland and even though there are a few songs I can say I like to listen to I wouldn't care if I never heard any of them again. If you're thinking of buying it or downloading the album I'd recommend you make use of the track samples even if you think you know everything about Goldfrapp, I have a friend who is a big fan of the duo but after hearing my boyfriends copy she's not even going to bother downloading a few of the tracks. She says they've either lost their way or are trying too hard to be original with Tales of Us and I agree with her, I think it appeals to my boyfriend more because he likes this kind of experimental music more than I do and is more tolerant of songs that are trying to be different.

I haven't given my thoughts on all of the tracks because a lot of them are very similar to others and I can't honestly think of many original observations for a lot of them. It's an album that is half very good and half mediocre, the problem for me is that this is only because of the songs being so repetitive in sound and if you listen to the album there aren't many songs that stand out as being different from the rest to the stage where it could be one long song which changes regularly through the time you listen.

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Comments on this review

  • xmum2fourx published 23/09/2013
    Well reviewed x
  • Soho_Black published 23/09/2013
    Good review, although I'm more of your boyfriend's opinion.
  • Graygirl published 23/09/2013
    Great review x
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Product Information : Tales of Us - Goldfrapp

Manufacturer's product description

1 CD(s) - Electronic - Label: Mute - Distributor: PIAS UK/Arvato Services - Released: 09/09/2013 - 5099961576025

Product Details

EAN: 5099961576025


Listed on Ciao since: 13/08/2013