Tales of Us - MUTE
FILTER Grade: 83%
By Ken Scrudato on September 10, 2013
Where once electro-disco goddess Alison Goldfrapp was saving all her icy love—erm, lust—for “a strict machine,” she now appears to us stripped of all those futuristic longings. On this, her namesake band’s sixth album, she’s gone, it seems…all Cotswolds on us. The rather intimately titled Tales of Us is, to be sure, alive with the pastoral colors of a world beyond the urban pandemonium; and all but one of the songs intriguingly bear a person’s name—ostensibly the “us” of the title. It’s not being glib to say that if you cry yourself to sleep waiting for the Cocteau Twins to reappear, Tales of Us might just dry your eyes. Ms. Goldfrapp stunningly channels Liz Fraser on “Alvar,” “Ulla” and “Simone,” but it’s the glorious orchestral sweep of epics like “Drew” and “Thea” that provide the record’s most enthralling moments. A short film accompanies the release, but it hardly seems necessary, given the music’s powerful cinematic evocativeness.