Alison Goldfrapp – The Love Invention
The surname is of course, familiartoloversofthesmooth electronic pop of its creator, but the newly expanded monicker sets this debut solo release aside from the back catalogue of the London-born musician.
Goldfrapp is a band of close on a quarter of a century standing, comprising Alison, and Will Gregory.
However, despite what may seem like a massive step in releasing a solo album, ‘The Love Invention’ is not a huge leap from her work with Gregory in the band that also bears her name.
On this occasion, her creative foil is noted electro pro- ducer Richard X, who helps Goldfrapp finesse her solo lockdown recordings into an efficient collection of her signature electro pop.
AlisonGoldfrappisaperennial shapeshifter but here her remarkable voice is so shrouded in studio effects that it lacks personality and there are times, such as opening track ‘Never Stop’, when the seamless blend of machine music and breathy vocals could be mistaken for the latest Kylie release. “You’ve arrived at the sublime,” she purrs without quite delivering on that promise.
The title track is a sci-fi take on better living through ch emistry, its pilled-up bliss embellished by stilted synth arpeggios and a Daft Punk-style muffled bassline. ‘Di gging Deeper Now’ is more surface sheen with a light, skittering breakbeat, ambient house backing and Goldfrapp’s featherlight vocal.
‘The Beat Divine also fails to live up to its name, coming over like a Giorgio Moroder ballad without the innate melodrama. Fluttery electro track ‘SLoFLo’ and ‘In Electric Blue’ find Goldfrapp in falsetto ecstasy, while ‘So Hard So Hot’, recorded during the 2022 heatwave with all the double meaning that imparts, is an electro disco highlight.