Golden Girl

  • The List
  • 10 September 2010
Golden Girl

Having recently wowed the Camden Roundhouse in something akin to cut-up bin-liners, Alison Goldfrapp still possesses a versatile faculty for shock and awe. It’s what singled her out as an imminent icon when her electronic duo released their debut album, Felt Mountain(Mute), in 2001, and it’s what has since positioned her as this decade’s aesthetic answer to, say, 80s-era Madonna or 90s-era Kylie.

She hasn’t achieved their commercial success, but Goldfrapp has certainly informed the styles of latter-day Material Girl and Pop Princess. Indeed, her influence on today’s pop landscape is hard to over-state: from Girls Aloud through Bat for Lashes (via loads of female electropop artists), Goldfrapp’s long-held fascination with hyper-glam synthpop and animalistic imagery has realigned mainstream boundaries: paved the way.

Ten years ago, Goldfrapp and her collaborative maestro Will Gregory were pitted against the Stereophonics and David Gray – which shows how much our charts and airwaves have (thankfully) changed – though it’s notable that one standout contemporary from 2001, Kelis, is still fired-up: she too plays Glasgow this autumn.

Head First, Goldfrapp’s fifth album, adds ebullient electropop to the duo’s canon of rustic folk, glam rock, filmic soundtracks and cabaret. (And that’s before we touch on the best Olivia Newton John cover of all time: if you’ve never heard their rendition of ‘Physical’, hear it now).

Goldfrapp’s live shows are a spectacle in every sense: her vocals are cut-glass, wild and impressive. Her presence – in horse tail, pink cape, antlers, or plain old bin-bag – is assured to arrest.

Goldfrapp, Glasgow 02 Academy, Fri Nov 19.