With their sophomore effort “Black Cherry,” Goldfrapp sheds the skintight lederhosen for the vinyl pants, frizzy hair and off-the-shoulder style of ’80s synth-pop. It’s a dramatic turn that will surely confuse (and anger) some fans — especially with its suspect timing. The fusion of punk, new wave and disco known as “electroclash” is just finishing a victory lap across America and Europe, so it would be easy to dismiss “Black Cherry” as opportunistic. Goldfrapp, however, separates herself from electroclash by trading in most of its sonic shock value and trashy eroticism for sultry vocals and actual melodies. She pouts and coos with Lolita-like aplomb through the darker numbers, but the syrupy symphonic samples found in the creamy center of “Black Cherry” reveal the same spy-novel ambience that made “Felt Mountain” so engaging. “Hairy Trees” is sung at a near whisper, while the title track is a smoldering, bleep-and-blip torch song.
Read the full review at The Japan Times Online.