Alison Goldfrapp, The Love Invention Review
by Constance Tucker
In her audacious debut solo album, The Love Invention, Alison Goldfrapp, renowned for her legacy as half of the genre-defying electro-pop duo Goldfrapp, asserts herself as a dancefloor high priestess. The Love Invention, blending riveting strands of dance-pop, house, and disco, embodies Goldfrapp’s perennial modernity while reflecting her uncanny knack for timeless sonics beyond any fleeting trends.
Goldfrapp’s 24-year journey with Goldfrapp has seen her straddle various genres – pop, glam rock, cabaret, folk, dance, disco, and trip-hop, each tackled with deft aplomb. However, this musical chameleon now stands alone; her debut solo ventures are a testament to her brilliant multi-dimensionality.
The Love Invention opens with “Never Stop,” a pulse-quickening track that spins you into the album’s compelling sonic world. This infectious beat and synth motif, coupled with Goldfrapp’s vibrant vocals, lay the groundwork for a record that straddles the past and future of dance music.
The title track, “Love Invention,” is a hedonistic tribute to the pioneering disco beats of Giorgio Moroder crafting Donna Summer. It’s a sonic journey that encapsulates the spirit of the dancefloor, featuring Goldfrapp’s hallmark layered sounds and propulsive rhythms, the very engines driving this energetic track.
“Digging Deeper Now,” a splendid disco-funk number, feels like an invitation to the chill-out room for cocktails, while the sultry acid-house rhythms of “Fever” offer a trance-like escape, carried by Goldfrapp’s enchanting vocals. Meanwhile, “The Beat Divine” blossoms into a vibrant dance anthem with a seductive backbeat as elegant as sensual.
However, the record has its missteps. “Subterfuge,” an excursion into electro-pop, fails to harness the album’s overall momentum. The track is built with generic beats, and the effects layered on Goldfrapp’s usually ethereal vocals seem more interruptive than enhancing. Why destroy beauty, let it ring true.
Despite this, the overall sonic exploration in The Love Invention is exhilarating. It is a magnetic journey through the various terrains of dance music, each track a testament to Goldfrapp’s sophisticated understanding of complex, layered soundscapes.
From the Euro-trash, Italo disco sound of “Gatto Gelato” to the summer anthem “So Hard So Hot,” the album is a shining showcase of Goldfrapp’s multi-dimensional artistry and her striking relevance in the ever-evolving electronic music scene.
The Love Invention is not just Alison Goldfrapp’s solo debut; it is a pulsating love letter to the dancefloor, an intoxicating journey through various dance genres. It is an ebullient celebration of the inherent joy of music, proof of Goldfrapp’s unyielding creative vitality and her unwavering dedication to the craft. Though marred by occasional missteps, this work remains a glowing testament to Goldfrapp’s deep-rooted understanding of electronic music and its many-faceted complexities.
With The Love Invention, Goldfrapp has not just reinvented herself, she has reimagined the sonic landscape of dance music, infusing it with a refreshing blend of the traditional and the avant-garde, and in doing so, has set an extraordinarily high benchmark for her contemporaries. The legendary Larry Levan would be proud.