The Love Invention
After 23 years being a duo, Alison Goldfrapp is ready to make a name for herself. Goldfrapp, the creative project she was apart of along with producer Will Gregory, dabbled in downtempo art and ambient pop, but The Love Invention, Alison’s debut solo album, is an explosion of bright colors and flashy synths, oftentimes substantial on its own, but usually a blend of familiar names and sounds.
On paper, The Love Invention sounds great, a feel-good synthpop record that will have people heading for the dance clubs in droves — the same pleasure principle people like Beyoncé, Ava Max, and Ellie Goulding explored on their recent albums. But Goldfrapp’s moment feels much too like a mixed-together bag of inspirations rather than an artist finding their original sound. Across its 12 tracks, you can clearly hear the breathy, crooning voice Kylie Minogue employed for a stretch of albums in the early 2000s, the calls to earlier times production by Róisín Murphy and Agnes have been using, and odes to pleasure Jessie Ware has been seeing through.
Like how Ellie Goulding recently claimed that Higher Than Heaven, her most recent album, is also her least personal, The Love Invention boasts similar amorphous lyricism. Most of these songs sound like they could have been written for anyone, particularly “Fever” (“We are the fever now / This is the real thing”), “In Electric Blue” (“I’m only in this world if it’s with you”), or “Gatto Gelato” (“I can make you feel”). It results in an anonymous effect, despite Goldfrapp being the primary writer behind the songs.
When she takes a break from the colorful, frenetic beats to leave room to experiment, it works wonders. The closer, “SLoFLo”, has no discernable structure, and its lyricism is intentionally kept vague, but the instrumental gradually builds and hums to create a marvelous soundscape. The bassline on “Digging Deeper Now” creates exactly the grounded, dark effect the song needed, and “Gatto Gelato”, which was inspired by catwalking, has the glittery synths and attitude needed for a runway show.
In its cohesion, the record becomes too homogenous to pick out actual highlights, and the result is a blend of electronic music. More of an album to be used as background noise when working, The Love Invention isn’t a definitive statement on who Alison Goldfrapp is, but it’s a nice time when it’s on.
order The Love Invention by Alison Goldfrapp HERE
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