All-Time Albums: #64


GOLDFRAPP Felt Mountain

Lovely Head 3:49 (UK single, #68 when reissued as AA-side with Pilots)
2 Paper Bag 4:05
3 Human 4:36 (UK single, #100)
Pilots 4:29 (UK single, #68 as AA-sided remix with Lovely Head)
5 Deer Stop 4:06
6 Felt Mountain 4:17
7 Oompa Radar 4:42
Utopia 4:18 (UK single, #131 – remixed hit #62)
9 Horse Tears 5:10

Ethereal is a word that gets tossed around whenever there’s music which feels not quite of this planet, but what else can describe the wondrous sound of Felt Mountain? “Shirley Bassey in Space” was one particularly memorable attempt (and, in the case of Pilots, it’s absolutely spot-on).

There’s an intoxicatingly twisted approach on this debut Goldfrapp album; hints of the Angelo Badalamenti aesthetic here, some post-Portishead cinematic flourishes there. It’s the kind of record you are immediately seduced by. That feeling of what the hell is this, and can I have some more please?

Every one of Goldfrapp’s albums are worth investigating, especially since no two of them take the same approach (sonically, at least). Supernature saw them reach a commercial apex, with its glam technopop and hook-laden songs, and even Head First was crammed with blissful, retro synthpop crackers. But this is the Goldfrapp I love best, more downtempo, less direct, dreamy and skewed, sensual rather than outright sexual.

Elizabeth Fraser meets Shirley Bassey, Twin Peaks meets On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

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