[28] Goldfrapp, ‘A&E’


Seventh Tree proved Goldfrapp have a heart, not just a set of timely pop culture references – and ‘A&E’ is a murmur. All is not well, and the redemptive power of love is the illusion of the desperate. Ahem. It has a panicky beauty and swelling power, with Alison Goldfrapp inhabiting it a little fully for comfort. Still, sod the comfort of distance; this is a far cry from the play-acting of Supernature, Black Cherry, whichever costume party the duo soundtracked before, and it’s a winning gambit.

Junior says: “I like this song.” Blushing, she even sort of sings along with the first verse, but I’m sure it’s ages since she heard it. Perhaps it’s nuzzled into her psyche. As I try to put another record on, she says, “Can you play Blue Big Blue again?”

Best bit: Sitary foundations of the second verse.

[5] Goldfrapp, ‘A&E’


I might have been mean to Goldfrapp. I took them to be ersatz trip-hop (and there was plenty of that about), then ersatz electroclash (imagine – a sorry copy of Fischerspooner), and finally, ersatz glam. Maybe I should reassess their work, because Seventh Tree is a gorgeous album. Or perhaps they’ve just learned how to be gorgeous. ‘A&E’ is the mother of all comedowns – still, we’ve all woken up in a backless dress, right? – but somehow it’s warm, beautiful and shiny as a new pin.

Junior smiled as it faded in, then hummed along and told me, “We have this in the car.” She asked me the singer’s name. “Alison Goldfrapp.” “Oh, the one who emerged on ‘Pumpkin’, from Tricky’s peerless debut album, right, Dad?” She’s really coming on.