Tales of Us - Goldfrapp
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Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 39 Ratings

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  • Summary: The sixth full-length release from the electronic duo is an cinematic-inspired album that will be accompanied by a film directed by Lisa Gunning.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. Sep 10, 2013
    This is real music, about real people, dealing in real emotion. That it sounds so gorgeously lush too is mere icing on a very rich cake.
  2. Sep 9, 2013
    An intimate collection of fireside confessionals which weave their spell on you with a slow-burning intensity, seducing the listener by stealth.
  3. Sep 17, 2013
    The album has a movie score feel, but this time every track is its own short film.
  4. Aug 30, 2013
    Tales Of Us is relentlessly one note but frequently beautiful, and a welcome change from the theatrics of its immediate predecessor, 2010’s ‘Head First’.
  5. Sep 19, 2013
    Musically, it's their most ambitious release, with full orchestras and mysterious meditations of reality and fantasy. [No. 102, p.56]
  6. Sep 13, 2013
    It is a solid and dependable album, sure of its own purpose yet ready to complement those poignant moments when all that seems to be missing is a cue for the dramatic music to start.
  7. Nine of the ten songs are named after friends, and they’re samey and indulgent.

See all 26 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 11
  2. Negative: 2 out of 11
  1. Sep 10, 2013
    The formula for the new Goldfrapp Album is the following: FELT MOUNTAIN and SEVENTH TREE had a child who is a fan of Coldplay's PARACHUTES, and while the womb, Orchestral Music was playing. The Results are simply Magnificent. After their 80 's influenced HEADS FIRST, it is good to hear the duo has returned to what they do best: Hypnotic Electronic Ambient Music. Expand
  2. Sep 10, 2013
    Wonderful work by the duo. Another dramatic turn of sound, taking them away from the 80's synthpop of Head First to this new sounds. Some say it is like a fusion of Felt Mountain and Seventh Tree, but I am not comfortable with that comparison. The song's are not as disjointed as Felt Mountain, nor as lush as Seventh Tree. They are menacingly sung haunting listens filled with character, haunting and beautiful. Expand
  3. Sep 14, 2013
    Ever since their 2000 debut album Felt Mountain fans have been yearning for a return to the creepy, melancholic sound that it presented. Not to say any of the albums that followed were a disappointment. Time and time again Goldfrapp prove their artistic merit and relevance through experimentation, reinvention, versatility, and overall quality music making. Whether it’s the dark and gloomy trip hop and electronic cabaret of Felt Mountain, the electro glam of Black Cherry, the dance floor romp Supernature, the folktronic and ocassionally psychedelic Seventh Tree, or the shimmery 80’s synthpop of Headfirst. This album is easily the closest thing to Felt Mountain, but is never just a rehash of old ideas. Tales of Us successfully marries the chilly strings and overall tone of Felt Mountain with the plucked acoustic guitars of Seventh Tree. While borrowing these sounds from those previous efforts, Tales of Us undeniably stands apart and on its own feet.
    The album uniquely provides character sketches of 10 individuals starting darkly with “Jo”. Circling vocals of “Run, you better run” swirl overtop a paired piano and bass subtly rocking back and forth. “Annabel” which is happily reminiscent of Felt Mountain’s “Deer Stop” starts with a plucked acoustic guitar, but unlike Seventh Tree the acoustic instruments don’t add warmth, and in fact the cold lullaby of “Annabel” builds by the end as the stings grow dark and loud. “Drew” also begins with cascading plucky Guitar strings, but sounds brighter and warmer than it’s predecessor. Occasionally being interrupted by booms from a cello and an undercurrent of lush strings that build as the song progresses. “Ulla” and “Alvar” sound more like Seventh Tree. The former taking cues from the more ambient middle of Seventh Tree (“Road to Somewhere”, “Some People”), and “Alvar” with light droning and skittish electric guitars is more reminiscent of Seventh Tree’s slight psychedelia (“Little Bird”, “Cologne Cerrone Houdini”). On “Thea” scattered frantic strings pop in and out of crunching footsteps, and eventually pulsating drum and bass, and a smashing snare. This is the danciest the album gets, providing the perfect synthesis of the dark forest aesthetic of the album with the bright dance floor lights of their past music. “Simone” is a dark lamenting song that drifts through a haunting atmospheric melody and builds with some slight percussion and strings. Amazingly mysterious and beautiful, the film noir “Stanger” sounds like the beautiful child of Felt Mountain’s “Lovely Head” and “Pilots” complete with a lonesome whistling refrain and cinematic strings. “Laurel” mixes the melancholic harpsichord and dark strings of Felt Mountain with the contemplative piano of mid section Seventh Tree beautifully, with brooding, lamenting vocals. “Clay” ends the album on a hopeful more uplifting note. Soaring vocals rise over fast, bright, fluttering strings with a slight synth undercurrent.
    This album is definitely harkens back to the sound of Felt Mountain, but stands separately as its own body of work worthy of being recognized for its own accomplishments. Despite their changes in style there’s always something about their music that always feels Goldfrapp. Their evocative lyrics, and the cinematic quality of their music, are forever present on all their albums to date. This album is a masterpiece, and anyone interested in beautifully crafted, lush, and eerie music should definitely pick up this album
  4. Jun 3, 2014
    this is by far the most beautiful piece of music i've ever heard.
    breathtaking from the first time, evolving and maturing from spin to spin.

    this album is, ladies and gentlemen, as fine as music can get.
  5. Jun 29, 2014
    I have been waiting for the next Goldfrapp album what seems like forever and I am certainly not disappointed, in fact, that would be a huge understatement. This is a highly polished mix of Felt Mountain and Supernature and it seems the two have met in perfect harmony to create Tales of Us. Alison's vocals are haunting, yet as sweet and soft as honey, mixed with the relaxing sensuous melodies throughout this will leave you feeling like you have entered a parallel universe after falling down a musical rabbit hole. Intoxicating, Indulgent and magical, Goldfrapp have captured their very essence so perfectly here - This is an album to treasure. Expand
  6. Jun 16, 2014
    Not the strongest Goldfrapp album, but still wonderfully composed and created. Though each song on the album is themed around a different person they suffer from not having enough character or individuality. Expand
  7. Sep 26, 2013
    This record made me want to kill myself. It is SO BORING. Goldfrapp can do so much better than this. Can only imagine how bad the film is gonna be. Yuck. Expand

See all 11 User Reviews