When I found this at a small record and CD store in the East Village, I figured for $4 it wasn't much of a risk. I pretty much have gotten my moneys worth. This is an interesting album that is not far removed from the likes of Human League or some other synth pop band from the 80's.
Don't get me wrong, the textures can be lush and the composition is counterpointed well by Ms. Goldfrapps odd and sometimes meaningless vocals. Think of it as an electro/pop with very techy and chunky beats occasionally thrown in and you'll not be far off the mark. Needless to say this disc just didn't grab me. . . It was pretty much worth the four dollar price I paid.
Here's what some others have said about “Black Cherry”:
Poor Goldfrapp: Cursed forever as another of those bands who have become known as 'the ones who were used on that advert'. Manybought Felt Mountain, their first album nearly three years ago, as some kind of odious, sub-Portishead chillout addition to their coffee table lives. Thankfully Black Cherry is going to be a bit of a shock to all those people. To everyone who dug a little deeper to sample the decadent strangenessin their lush alpine soundscapes; you're in for an even more intense ride...
If there's a fault to be found it's that the album reminds one of Beck's Midnite Vultures a little too much,with its wilful retro-synth feel and explicit nature. Remember that Vultures was purported to be Beck's 'sex' album and Black Cherry fits the same bill. It's almosttoo muchso in places, as Alison pouts over lyrics such as 'How can it be I taste you now?' (''Black Cherry'') or 'I'm in love with your strict machine' ("Strict Machine") and, on ''Twist'' encourages you to...well, you get the picture.
At first, it's hard to be anything except stunned while listening to Goldfrapp's sophomore release, Black Cherry. Where the British pop-electronica duo's acclaimed debut Felt Mountain was all fur coats and cigarette holders, Black Cherry's glam-industrial synths evoke vinyl catsuits, sequined stockings and comparisons to new wave/synth-pop outfits like Blondie and the Eurythmics, a far cry from the Portishead and John Barry allusions that peppered every review of Felt Mountain's dulcet tones. What the heck happened to Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory between albums?
With Black Cherry, Goldfrapp has gone from the seductive innocence of her first disc to nearly flat-out vamp. Whereas on her last disc she as least seemed like she had some dark secrets to hide, on Black Cherry she seems to pull them out and flaunt them in the listeners face. Sure, she's wearing ruby slippers on the cover art, but one look at her tarted-upCabaret-esque photo on the front of the disc reveals that Dorothy isn't in Kansas anymore.
If I didn't know better, I'd say that the duo was jumping on the electro (the trend that keeps on giving) bandwagon, but there are songs on the disc (like the album-titled "Black Cherry") that suggest more of a logical progression in sound, mixing the more breathy sounds of old with a touch of the more electronic-infected sounds of the new release. If anything, it seems to be as I suggested above, which is that the first album can be viewed more as a somewhat tenative debut and coming-of-age album (experimenting and hinting at sexuality with going at things so overtly), while Black Cherry is an obvious celebration of such.