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Released today (22 March), Goldfrapp's new album Head First is a glorious - if unexpected - foray into pure ‘80s pop.
Goldfrapp have ditched the acoustic guitars from their folktronic 2008 album Seventh Tree and replaced them with massive synthesizers, effortlessly catchy hooks and staccato Giorgio Moroder basslines.
If the aim was to make a more commercially viable album than Seventh Tree, they’ve succeeded almost to the point of looking sarcastic.
This uplifting work is new territory for the duo. While they’re clearly comfortable behind a synthesizer and know a thing or two about pop hooks, most of their previous electro work - 2003’s Black Cherry and 2005’s Supernature in particular - resonates with dark haunting menace.
Head First, however, is filled with instant hits that sound like late period Fleetwood Mac, ELO and even ABBA. It was written and recorded in six months and features a string of startlingly well-executed ‘80s pastiches.
The real trick, however, isn’t just recreating the past, it’s breathing new life into this vintage style.