SILVER Eye is Goldfrapp’s seventh album, their first since 2013’s Tales of Us. The duo consists of Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory, known for their constant sonic evolution and this new release is no exception to the rule. After previously experimenting with a more acoustic folk-tronica style, Silver Eye sees big, shining synthesisers return unabashedly to the fore.
Opener ‘Anymore’ immediately signals this stylistic shift. Propelled by a purring synth riff, Goldfrapp’s minimalist but sexually charged verses build to a massive chorus: ‘I can’t wait, I can’t wait anymore.’ It is a strong track, and an obvious choice for the lead single, even if in truth little else is particularly innovative about it.
One stronger is ‘Become The One’, a self-realisation anthem inspired by the documentary My Transgender Summer Camp. A great contrast is created here between the robotic verses and Alison’s more expressive, human chorus, with shimmering additional vocal lines being thrown in for good measure. Contributing to production here is Björk’s Vulnicura collaborator The Haxan Cloak, whose fingerprints are all over this album, being credited on six of its ten songs.
The album, however, has several weaker moments. Aside from its iffy title, ‘Systemagic’ feels a lot longer than it has any right to be at three and a half minutes. ‘Zodiac Black’ and ‘Beast That Never Was’ both succeed in creating the kind of ominous atmosphere present on much of Silver Eye, but without ever truly igniting.
To its credit, Silver Eye finishes well, with two strong final tracks. A dynamic swell and fall is put to excellent use on ‘Moon in Your Mouth’, while ‘Ocean’ is a dystopic disco stomper. Ending with Alison’s insistent ‘They’re coming for you’, the latter exemplifies the paranoid, unsettling tone of this album.
In A Nutshell: A decent release, with some strong moments, but unlikely to feature on many year-end lists.