Reviewed by Jeff Walker

My Alternative Music Standard – Radiohead – OK Computer
My Electronic/Dance Standard – Goldfrapp – Supernature
My Singer-Songwriter Standard – Damien Rice - O

Seventh Tree is like waking up on a Sunday morning next to someone you really like – it’s warm and relaxing, maybe not as sexy as the previous night, at times even sleepy, but ultimately makes your heart soar and you want to savor every bit of it.

Release Date: February 26, 2008

Tracks/Length: 10 tracks / 41:36 (Web Site)

Producers: Alison Goldfrapp, Will Gregory, Flood (The Downward Spiral, Violator, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb)


Honest Opinion:
If you’re at all familiar with Goldfrapp’s previous albums, this one will come as quite a surprise. Gone are the throbbing dance beats, pulsing synths, and seductive vamping from singer Alison Goldfrapp. Instead, Seventh Tree has a sort of folk-acoustic-electronic sound that may even invoke comparisons to Enya and is the kind of music you would hear on Grey’s Anatomy (in fact, “Some People” was played in the first new episode following the strike).

At first listen, I didn’t think I’d be able to stay awake, as many of the early songs are rather slow and take some time to engage. Fortunately, Seventh Tree really grows on you, so even the slower songs become contemplative and subtly moving. The vulnerability and fragility that Alison Goldfrapp projects in her voice and lyrics make you want to give her a hug. Softly swirling strings, ambient synths and piano complement the vocals to create a consistent sound that slowly enraptures the listener.

I always think that a great album needs to have a strong finish, and Seventh Tree fits the bill. The last half is brilliant in working you into a dreamlike euphoria that also picks up the pace a bit from the first half, and features the best songs.

Seventh Tree is definitely not an ideal album for cruising down a coastal highway as only the bouncy “Caravan Girl” seems like a candidate for a DJ’s spin. However, this is a great album for making out, waking up, or just yearning for the one who touches your heart.

1st Single Representation:A&E” is indicative of the acoustic and electronic mix that makes up most of the songs. It has a bit more melody and a stronger climax than a lot of the songs, but represents the mood and style of the album really well.

If You Are Going to Download Three Songs (legally of course), This Is What I Would Download: “A & E” – probably the best song on the album, “Caravan Girl” – upbeat and catchy as hell, “Monster Love” – perfect end to the album and cathartic in a way.

Rule of 4 (if you like at least four songs the whole album is worth buying): Listen to one song and if you like it, you’ll probably like most of the album, especially if you give it more than a few listens. The first song, “Clowns,” is the only one I tend to regularly skip over. It’s not a bad song, just soothing and quiet, and never achieves the flourishes that many of the other songs do. I definitely like more than half the album and think it is worth a purchase or download.

Verdict: If you like Goldfrapp, you may not care for this, since the shift from dance to slower acoustic-electronica is pretty dramatic. But, it has some hypnotic songs that transport you to another place. Give it time and attention, and it can be quite rewarding, even if it’s not adrenaline-pumping or easily accessible.

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