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Pop - Released June 28, 2019 | Mute, a BMG Company

The kickoff single to Erasure's Light at the End of the World is a classic mix of yearning, bittersweet, and synths, layers and layers of synths by the end of the song. The original version of "I Could Fall in Love with You" is swooning, timeless Erasure, and the remixes don't scream out "2007" either. Jeremy Wheatley's two mixes are Euro-throwbacks that could be from the house of Cerrone, while Lee Monteverde's three tries jump ahead in time just slightly with a sound in line with Erasure's 1991 effort, Chorus. Everything is designed for the dancefloor with the utmost slickness, and while it may be an extremely safe dancefloor, both remixers understand the song and its building overflow of desire. The good B-side "I Like It" reviews itself, and this well-crafted single ends up a necessary if unsurprising release for fans. © David Jeffries /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released May 5, 2017 | Mute, a BMG Company

Distinctions 4F de Télérama
Nick Cave and his Bad Seeds remain one of the most prolific adventures of the post-punk era. Since the middle of the 1980s, the vast magnetism of the Australian singer has swirled through violent paroxysms, fulminating covers, piano ballads and sweaty rock'n'roll. Across many years and many recordings, Cave became more and more of a crooner, somewhere between a punk Sinatra and an austere Johnny Cash. This impeccable compilation, published in Spring 2017 not only allows the listener to get a sense of the length of the road they have travelled, but also to enjoy an excellent introduction to the art of this gang that stands apart from contemporary rock. The 45 songs of this Deluxe edition are spread out between three periods: fifteen titles dug out from between 1984 and 1993, fifteen others from between 1994 and 2003 and a final fifteen selected from between 2004 and 2013... Starting with From Her To Eternity (1984) and going up to Push The Sky Away (2013), Lovely Creatures offers a perfect mix of poisonous ballads (Into My Arms), rollocking epics (The Mercy Seat), stripped-down, violent rock (Deanna), apocalyptic cabaret (The Carny), unexpected duets (Where The Wild Roses Grow with Kylie Minogue)  and selected covers. (In The Ghetto). Nestled between the Gothic prose of American authors of the 20th Century, the musical heritage of giants like Hank Williams and Johnny Cash, Nick Cave has found his own style, often chambrist, but always sombre and possessed by the spirit of the Old Testament... © MZ/Qobuz
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Rock - Released May 5, 2017 | Mute, a BMG Company

Nick Cave is a singular figure in contemporary rock music; he first emerged as punk rock was making its presence known in Australia, but though he's never surrendered his status as a provocateur and a musical outlaw, he quickly abandoned the simplicity of punk for something grander and more literate, though no less punishing in its outlook. Cave also had an approach to collaboration that made his backing band, the Bad Seeds, an integral part of his creative vision, even as their membership changed and their sound evolved over the space of three decades of fury and eloquence. In Kirk Lake's liner notes to Lovely Creatures: The Best of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, 1984-2014, he celebrates the band as much as their charismatic leader and songwriter, and the 45 songs collected on this three-disc set make the case that while Cave may be the frontman -- and a profoundly charismatic one with a powerful voice that can communicate from a whisper to a scream -- his musicians bring a color, shape, and texture to his songs that focus and amplify his gifts as a singer and lyricist. While 1998's The Best of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds is a fine one-disc overview of Cave's body of work, this is by any standard a superior collection. The depth and detail of Cave's songs lend themselves to a larger anthology, and this was compiled from an additional 16 years' worth of music, much of it excellent, including tracks from 2004's Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus and 2014's Push the Sky Away. And the package also comes with a bonus DVD featuring television appearances, live performances, and interviews that document Cave & the Bad Seeds' forceful brilliance on-stage. Lovely Creatures is a superior introduction to Cave's post-Birthday Party work, and while the lack of unreleased material might make it superfluous for serious fans, this remains a splendid summation of the work of a major artist who continues to create deeply personal, profoundly moving music. © Mark Deming /TiVo
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Electronic - Released October 23, 2015 | Mute, a BMG Company

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Rock - Released November 17, 2014 | Mute, a BMG Company

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 10, 2014 | Mute, a BMG Company

A document of a work designed to be performed live, and not an "official new Einstürzende Neubauten LP proper" according to the band itself, Lament is still a staggering work of soul-crushing genius, a work where a veteran idiosyncratic band takes on a broad topic and communicates myriad emotions while landing on the beneficial end of "art for art's sake." The topic is World War I and the idea that it never really ended, a concept reflected in the grinding gears and scraping metal of the opening "Kriegsmaschinerie," an arguably quintessential Einstürzende Neubauten number considering the band's avant and industrial roots. Still, as the mashed, familiar, and a cappella anthems of "Hymnen" display, there hasn't been anything quintessential about these artists since they dared to plunder the world of composition and classical music. The mashed-up "Hymnen" points out that the German hymn "Heil Dir im Siegerkranz" was spawned out of "God Save the Queen," but as the key cut "Der 1.Weltkrieg" lists the War's key cities and battles, it's obvious that it doesn't matter where you live or who you identify with, some other clan wants you gone, both in space and time. What brings us together tears us apart as well, as the title cut repeats "Macht, Krieg" ("Power, War"), sometimes with a period in the middle, but the punctuation slowly evolves into a comma. War may be inevitable, but that doesn't make it easy, as "Sag Mir Wo die Blumen Sin" faithfully covers Pete Seeger's "Where Have All the Flowers Gone" in all its sweet sadness, while "On Patrol in No Man's Land" focuses on the Harlem Hellfighters and their truly selfless sacrifice. Neo-classical, industrial, laptop electronica, and German beer hall music all fit into the mix, and even if it takes a live production (one was held in Diksmuide, Belgium in November of 2014) to get the full Lament installation experience, this audio-only version is still evocative and deep. © David Jeffries /TiVo
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Trip Hop - Released August 1, 2013 | Mute, a BMG Company

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Though her collaborations with Tricky, Orbital, and Add N To X focused on the sheer beauty and power of her singing, on her debut album Felt Mountain Allison Goldfrapp also explores more straightforward styles. Together with composer/multi-instrumentalist Will Gregory, Goldfrapp wraps her unearthly voice around songs that borrow from '60s pop, cabaret, folk, and electronica without sounding derivative or unfocused. From the sci-fi/spy film hybrids "Human" and "Lovely Head" to the title track's icy purity, the duo strikes a wide variety of poses, giving Felt Mountain a stylized, theatrical feel that never veers into campiness. Though longtime fans of Goldfrapp's voice may wish for more the exuberant, intoxicating side of her sound, lovelorn ballads like "Pilots," "Deer Stop," and "Horse's Tears" prove that she is equally able at carrying -- and writing -- more traditional tunes. A strange and beautiful mix of the romantic, eerie, and world-weary, Felt Mountain is one of 2000's most impressive debuts. © Heather Phares /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released August 1, 2013 | Mute, a BMG Company

Distinctions Sélection Disques de l'année Les Inrocks
After spending years on the dancefloor with Black Cherry and Supernature, Goldfrapp take a breather with Seventh Tree. Allison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory slow down the beats and break out the acoustic guitars on a set of songs that suggest chilling out in a field during a hazy, watercolor summer; this is music for after the party, not after-parties. "Clowns" opens the album with fingerpicked acoustic guitar, bird songs, and Allison's nearly wordless vocalizing, making a statement that's bold because it's so gentle -- the effect is like stepping out into a sunny morning after spending all night in a club. At first, it's a shock, and then it feels great. Avoiding the glammy dance-pop of the duo's previous two albums is a bit of a risk, since Goldfrapp could probably make endless variations on "Ooh La La" and still have plenty of fans. However, Seventh Tree isn't so much a radical change for Goldfrapp as it is a shift in focus; even if it doesn't sound glam, it sounds glamorous. Sonic luxury has been the only constant in the duo's sound, from Felt Mountain's darkly lavish soundscapes to Black Cherry and Supernature's decadent dance hits, and there's plenty of it here, too. This is not Goldfrapp Unplugged, although acoustic guitars and strings waft in and out of the album effortlessly -- if anything, Seventh Tree's electro hippie-chic is the duo's most polished and luxe work yet. "Little Bird"'s psychedelic trip-hop builds to a majesty that recalls "Strawberry Fields Forever," buoyed by layer upon layer of guitar, vocals, sparkling synths, and a massive, rolling bassline. "Caravan Girl" is some of Goldfrapp's finest escapist pop, capturing the irresistible appeal of running away with big hooks and an even bigger wall of sounds backing them up. Allison uses her voice more beautifully and expressively than she has since Felt Mountain, especially on "Eat Yourself" and the Air-esque "Cologne Cerrone Houdini," where her upper register shines. Goldfrapp expand their emotional palette as well as their musical one on Seventh Tree, digging deeper into the vulnerable territory they explored with Supernature's "Number One." On "Monster Love" and "A&E," where Allison confesses "think I want you still, but it may be pills at work," the duo pulls off the confessional, folktronic singer/songwriter style with more flair than their peers. "Happiness," on the other hand, offers some surprisingly cheeky irony, pondering how to find "real love" (answer: "donate all your money") while coming across like a cheery cult anthem about trading your worldly possessions for colorful robes. With all the sounds and feelings Seventh Tree explores, it's clear that Goldfrapp doesn't miss the style the pair perfected on their last two albums, nor should they -- this is some of their most varied, balanced, and satisfying work. [A limited edition of Seventh Tree was also released with a DVD featuring live performances at Bexhill-on-Sea's De La Warr Pavilion; the videos for "A&E," "Happiness," and "Caravan Girl"; and TV performances of "Clowns" and "Road to Somewhere."] © Heather Phares /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released August 1, 2013 | Mute, a BMG Company

Booklet
Goldfrapp stepped off the dancefloor with The Seventh Tree’s folky reveries, but the duo couldn’t stay away for long. Head First dives into luscious, eminently danceable synth pop that's almost as far removed from the sleek shuffle beats of Black Cherry and Supernature as their previous album was. This time, Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory look to the ‘80s for inspiration, but not the brittle sound that was fashionable to ape in the late 2000s, like La Roux and Little Boots. Instead, they explore the uber-glossy productions, staccato melodies, and dramatic key shifts that were the hallmarks of anthems that some might not want to admit they liked decades later. The influence of Giorgio Moroder and Italo-disco in general can be heard throughout Head First, but ABBA and especially Xanadu-era Olivia Newton-John are even more prominent (the cover of “Physical” that appeared between Felt Mountain and Black Cherry feels more prescient with each album Goldfrapp releases). The pair makes more of these sounds than just pastiche, although the finesse with which they re-create this distinctive sound will give listeners serious déjà vu. Even the album’s length and structure feel retro: Head First is a svelte nine songs long, with the singles on its A-side and ballads on the B-side. And the singles -- particularly the first three -- are some of Goldfrapp’s most irresistible songs yet: “Rocket”’s driving minor-key verses and huge, shimmering choruses tap into the brain’s pleasure center as efficiently as possible; “Believer” sounds instantly familiar, but not tired or obvious; and “Alive” channels ABBA with percolating guitars, warm keyboards and synths that sparkle like a shower of glitter. These songs have a sugar rush-immediacy that is new to Goldfrapp’s music, even if it nods to a golden age of pop that was unabashedly joyous. These songs are so mainstream, they’re almost subversive; while Goldfrapp is no stranger to catchy singles, the brooding undercurrents that appeared in all of the duo's previous albums are missing. Song titles like “I Wanna Life” hint at the big, brightly colored strokes the duo is painting with this time, and the title track’s rainbow brightness and romantic ideals are miles away from the dark sensuality of their earlier work -- only “Shiny and Warm,” which plays like a revamped “Satin Chic,” has any trace of that vibe. Even Head First’s moody songs aren’t as moody as before, though “Hunt” has a hazy, late-night glamour to it. As almost Goldfrapp album shows, the duo is unafraid of abandoning sounds that worked for them in favor of something else. Coupled with The Seventh Tree, this album proves that Goldfrapp’s skill at adopting and fully embodying different styles is what makes them distinctive, not necessarily one signature sound. If the album seems somewhat slight, it’s purposefully so: Head First is a love letter to the frothy, fleeting, but very vital joys of pop music. © Heather Phares /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released August 1, 2013 | Mute, a BMG Company

In an admirably daring move, Goldfrapp's second album, Black Cherry, takes the duo in a very different direction than its instant-classic debut, Felt Mountain. Instead of just serving up more lush electronic torch songs -- which certainly would've been welcome -- Allison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory continue in the direction that their cover of Olivia Newton-John's "Physical" suggested, adding digital-sounding synths, electroclash-inspired drum machines, and more overtly sexual lyrics to their music. While their artistic risk-taking is commendable, unfortunately the same can't always be said for the results: Black Cherry sounds unbalanced, swinging between delicate, deceptively icy ballads and heavier, dance-inspired numbers without finding much of a happy medium between them. It's true that Felt Mountain's cinematic sweep owes a debt to the likes of Portishead, Björk, John Barry, and Shirley Bassey, but its mix of old-school glamour and more modern arrangements -- not to mention Allison Goldfrapp's charms as a futuristic siren, at once sensual and aloof -- were so compelling that the album felt fresh despite its roots. Black Cherry, however, is so dominated by its influences that all too often there doesn't seem to be enough room left in the music for Goldfrapp to really make the music its own. To be fair, most of the album isn't bad -- it's just not as consistently amazing as Felt Mountain. Songs like "Crystalline Green," "Tiptoe," and "Train" are among the better synth pop-inspired tracks, keeping enough of Goldfrapp's previous sound to give a good balance of familiarity and invention, but they don't really show off the expressive range of Goldfrapp's voice that well. Not surprisingly, Black Cherry's highlights apply Felt Mountain's eloquent restraint to a slightly different sonic palette: The title track has a spacy allure thanks to the flute-like synths and lighter-than-air drums and strings, while "Deep Honey" mixes harpsichords, strings, and foreboding analog synths to ominously beautiful effect. "Hairy Trees" conjures a digitally pristine utopia (though it does include the rather embarrassing lyric "touch my garden") and "Forever" is one of the few tracks that really allows the pure tonal beauty of Goldfrapp's singing to shine through. Problems crop up on Black Cherry when the group works too hard to change its trademark sound: Despite its very danceable groove, "Twist" overplays its hand by adding too many buzzing synths and operatically orgasmic vocals (though, admittedly, they do show off Goldfrapp's impressive pipes better than some of the other songs). "Strict Machine" and "Slippage" share a similar fate, piling on dominatrix-y drum machines to give the songs a dance edge but eventually sound weighed down by them in the process. It's possible that Black Cherry disappoints because it tries to go in two different directions at once; it might have been a more coherent listening experience if it were either more ballad-based or featured more synth pop homages. As it stands, it's merely a not entirely successful experiment that suffers from its ambitions and in comparison to its brilliant predecessor. While some Felt Mountain fans may not have the patience for this album's radical departures, Black Cherry is still worthwhile for those willing to take some risks along with the group. © Heather Phares /TiVo
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Film Soundtracks - Released August 1, 2013 | Mute, a BMG Company

Previous film scores by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis have been filled with a sense of atmospheric desolation that assumes tension, foreboding, dread, and ultimately violence, and preface the notion of the story on the screen. That said, their score for John Hillcoat's The Road -- adapted from Cormac McCarthy's post-apocalyptic novel of a father and son's journey across the barren landscape of what is left of America -- is a shift away from that technique. The 17 cues here are filled with very slight, spare, even skeletal pieces for violin and piano, with a few brief blazing moments of dissonant percussion-driven noise that point to the unfolding terror in the narrative. These are courtesy of an orchestral string section and added percussion, such as on the freakish “The Cannibals.” These moments are few and far between, however. On “Memory,” the orchestra leads the way, evoking something nearly pastoral, but burdened by so much sadness that it is actually an elegy. The longest piece here is “The Journey”; it contains traces of the film’s musical theme, adorned with percussion and strings, and conjures some atmospheric dread and inherent disaster -- and recalls some of the pair's other work -- but even here it feels like a minor-key interlude with sonic effects designed to add tension and a mournful tinge. “The Cellar” is the most arrestingly dissonant piece with its aggression and dynamic explosiveness, but it's a brief cue of less than a minute and a half. Most of what’s here is simply quiet and dignified, and serves the cinematic narrative as a bridge between father and son, who experience the many things they encounter through different eyes. As music, however, without that visual context, it’s so minimal that it feels like a series of pieces that never quite resolve. Ultimately, when heard apart from its cinematic counterpart, it is the least memorable of the scores Cave and Ellis have recorded together, but is a pleasant, if not riveting, listening experience. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Electronic - Released August 1, 2013 | Mute, a BMG Company

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Rock - Released August 1, 2013 | Mute, a BMG Company

Inspiral Carpets couldn't really sustain their vision over the course of an entire album, yet they made a number of infectious Madchester singles, which became fairly big hits in England. The Singles collects all of the group's U.K. hits, from the swirling, sunny "Joe" to "I Want You," a duet with the Fall's Mark E. Smith that had previously been unavailable on album. Over the course of 17 tracks, nearly every one of the band's great moments ("This Is How It Feels," "Dragging Me Down," "She Comes in the Fall," "Saturn 5," "Uniform") is featured, making Singles a definitive overview of the laid-back baggy band's career. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Released August 1, 2013 | Mute, a BMG Company

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Dance - Released August 1, 2013 | Mute, a BMG Company

After Happy Mondays and the Stone Roses, Inspiral Carpets were the most popular band to emerge from the early-'90s baggy/Madchester scene. Taking their musical cue from late-'60s Farfisa organ-fuelled psychedelic rock, the Carpets sounded drastically different from the bands who they were unfairly lumped together with. Regardless, they released some of the best singles of the '90s, and a batch of albums that are all worthwhile. This three-disc compilation, released in 2003 to coincide with a reunion tour, features a CD of singles ("Cool As"), a CD of rarities ("Rare As"), and a DVD of promo clips, interviews, and live performances ("Spool As"). Disc one is more complete than the Carpets' Singles collection released in 1995, containing two very early singles with their original vocalist, Steve Holt, plus a new "lost" single, "Come Back Tomorrow." Although not groundbreaking, the Carpets were perhaps the best U.K. singles band since Madness a decade earlier. "Move," "Please Be Cruel," "This Is How It Feels," "Dragging Me Down," and "Two Worlds Collide" are a handful of highlights from a career of them. If this was the only disc, it would be worthy of your dollars, but luckily, there's more. "Rare As" contains even more early rarities from the Holt lineup plus unreleased tracks, B-sides, and remixes. Of these tracks, one of the most enjoyable is their Inspiraling version of "Tainted Love," which sounds like a Carpets original rather than a cover (of a cover?). The DVD is a treat for fans who were never able to catch the original promo clips (especially those outside the U.K.). The live footage and 2003 interview are just icing on this triple-layer cake! [Cool As was re-released in 2007 with a bonus DVD.] © Steve Schnee /TiVo
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Rock - Released August 1, 2013 | Mute, a BMG Company

A return to form after a sophomore slump, Revenge of the Goldfish found Inspiral Carpets moving further away from the sound of their debut album and its heavy keyboards and dance elements. Instead, Revenge of the Goldfish was the band's most straightforward rock album, featuring a number of edgy, aggressive guitar-dominated numbers with a nice use of effects. There's still some of the old organ on such tracks as "A Little Disappeared," but for the most part keyboardist Clint Boon plays more synths here. Not only has the band's songwriting improved since their second album, but the production is far sharper without sounding too overdone. There is the occasional off track, but such tempo numbers as "Generations," "Mystery," and the phenomenal closer, "Irresistible Force," rank up there among the band's best. Meanwhile, the ballads "Two Worlds Collide" and "Bitches Brew" manage to stay heartfelt while offering a nice groove. Overlooked, but for no good reason. © Geoff Orens /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released August 1, 2013 | Mute, a BMG Company

Is American Supreme -- the first Suicide album in a decade -- an update, a return to form? Yes and no. Those who hang on Alan Vega's every streetwise grunt and growl will doubtlessly be pleased as punch with the results, as will anyone who hasn't heard any music that has been recorded since 1990. Perhaps the strangest twist about this record is how much of it sounds more crude and antiquated than the duo's first two albums, which were released over 20 years prior to this one. Those two albums did what few groups had done prior, and this one recycles hip-hop and dance beats that were recycled many times over by the mid-'90s. The opening "Television Executions" is the worst culprit, using turntable scratches and a bounding late-'80s funk groove that the Red Hot Chili Peppers would scoff at. It would be expecting far too much for Vega and Martin Rev to deliver something as revolutionary as those first two albums. A more realistic hope would be for this album to not be an embarrassment. Thankfully, due to Vega's sharp-as-ever observations (he still sounds ornery and underfed), they narrowly escape that pitfall. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Rock - Released August 1, 2013 | Mute, a BMG Company

Although the Inspiral Carpets added more production flourishes and keyboards on The Beast Inside, it ends up being a disappointing effort by the band to "grow up." While Life was intense and driven, The Beast Inside comes across as simply uninspired. The several attempts to add new dimensions to the group's sound actually result in hindering the band by weakening their previously strong groove and grittiness. It does not help matters any that the quintet are unable to come up with the kind of catchy choruses and strong hooks that were crawling all over their debut. Reducing the role of the Hammond organ was not a wise move, and the ballads especially sound lifeless as a result. Even "Further Away," a 14-minute epic which does have roaring organs and guitars, never really gets anywhere. Without even the powerful lyrics of their debut going for it, only the rare track, like the spooky "Born Yesterday," manages to captivate here. © Geoff Orens /TiVo
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Rock - Released August 1, 2013 | Mute, a BMG Company

"...This is the mature work of a band who have relaxed into their sound...It's a no-nonsense stomp through a collection of three-minute rock rushes. Hard, tight and fast..." © TiVo
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Rock - Released August 1, 2013 | Mute, a BMG Company