Head First Goldfrapp (CD)

PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 April, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 30 April, 2010, 12:00am

After she played a good-girl-gone-bad in the 1978 smash hit Grease, Olivia Newton-John starred in another cult movie, Xanadu. It featured feathered haircuts, rollerskating and ancient Greek muses.

If the powers that be decided to remake Xanudu (and given the number of remakes appearing in the cinema, it's not outside the realms of possiblilty), Goldfrapp's fifth album Head First could serve as the soundtrack.

The 38-minute-long disc is a collection of neo-disco tracks that feel inspired by Abba, and electropop acts like The Human League. The pulsing synthesiser and relentless beats combine effortlessly with lead singer Alison Goldfrapp's sleepy, ethereal vocals.

Listening to Head First is like playing music underwater: the sounds are all there, but you can't tell anything other than the fact you quite like what's going on. None of the tracks is particularly memorable - you hear each, enjoy it, then forget how it goes. Opener Rocket, with its 'spaceship taking off' intro and 1980s-aerobics-video feel, is probably most likely to stay in your memory. Alive is a playful, hopeful anthem about the joys of being, well, alive.

This CD is less about individual songs than paying tribute to an era. Get your leg-warmers out.