Tales of Us - Goldfrapp

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic 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
    It's Goldfrapp's most sophisticated work to date, and one of their most consistently satisfying albums.
  3. Jan 27, 2014
    This restless duo have never sounded so much like themselves, and the result is spellbinding. [Oct 2013, p.107]
  4. Sep 17, 2013
    The album has a movie score feel, but this time every track is its own short film.
  5. Sep 11, 2013
    Tales of Us unveils yet again how talented Goldfrapp truly is as together Alison and Gregory continue to craft music that does not pigeonhole them into a set genre; they simply make exceptional music.
  6. Tales of Us has a stately pace and woozy beauty, with cinematic orchestration of swaying strings over acoustic guitar or mossy cello.
  7. 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.
  8. 80
    The delicate guitar and piano figures and the sombre languor of strings behind Alison Goldfrapp’s breathy vocals create something akin to a cross between the dreamlike mythopoeism of old folk tales and the lush cinematic arrangements of Michel Legrand.
  9. 80
    Each song is presented as a character sketch, and while the stories are impressionistic, often opaque, they feel richly textured: they live and breathe.
  10. Aug 30, 2013
    The mood is all of a piece, the songs are stronger, and nobody suggests lightening the atmosphere with a high-energy single. [Sep 2013, p.84]
  11. Aug 30, 2013
    It's a haunting song cycle, one that might not necessarily appeal to their fanbase as a whole. But give it another listen; for all its subtlety, this is a role that Goldfrapp was born to play. [Aug-Sep 2013, p.90]
  12. Sep 12, 2013
    A short film accompanies the release, but it hardly seems necessary, given the music’s powerful cinematic evocativeness.
  13. 75
    Tales of You is all rather beautiful, but also rather quiet.
  14. Sep 19, 2013
    Musically, it's their most ambitious release, with full orchestras and mysterious meditations of reality and fantasy. [No. 102, p.56]
  15. 70
    The album’s an impressive new beginning for the singer, and while she doesn’t quite get there 100%, she’s at least entertained the idea that this place is no fantasy.
  16. Sep 13, 2013
    Goldfrapp have seemingly rekindled their creative fires and the result is a challenging and devastatingly beautiful record.
  17. 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.
  18. Sep 9, 2013
    The arrangements here are certainly accomplished, but it's still that voice which makes the whole thing glow.
  19. Sep 9, 2013
    If Tales of Us has a weakness, it's its tonal consistency.
  20. 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’.
  21. Sep 12, 2013
    Diehard fans of Goldfrapp will no doubt find something to love here, but for the rest of us, it’s a thin record that doesn’t do much to prop up its skeletal frame.
  22. Sep 30, 2013
    Although some of the arrangements and electronic embellishments are lavish, there are few obvious peaks and troughs apart from the epic throb of ‘Thea’.
  23. Sep 5, 2013
    Tales of Us is slightly more mesmerising soundscape than collection of genuinely outstanding songs.
  24. Sep 5, 2013
    The pair typically alternate between sexed-up dance-pop and psychedelic ambience, but Tales Of Us is their most pared-down effort in the latter category.
  25. Aug 30, 2013
    It's more fireside snooze than woodland romp. [Oct 2013, p.68]
  26. Nine of the ten songs are named after friends, and they’re samey and indulgent.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 38 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 11
  2. Negative: 2 out of 11
  1. Sep 24, 2013
    I think this album is pretty unremarkable. As subtle as the sound is, I think it's pretty forgettable- as such I describe it as 'A Dream You're Likely to Forget' in my blog review.

    Have a read (it's short), any feedback is welcome. Thanks

    Full Review »
  2. Sep 19, 2013
    This seems to be the exact opposite of 'Head First'. That is, a morose collections of vaguely pretty tracks that sound as if they're all rejects for the next Bond movie. I much prefer her when she's all soaring synthesizers. Only highlight on the whole album was 'Thea', and even that was dull. Come on Goldfrapp. Life's not that bad! Full Review »
  3. 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. Full Review »