Dig These Discs :: Elizaveta, Imperial Teen, Goldfrapp, The Fray
With Valentine’s Day just weeks away, love is in the air; Dig These Discs has the music to help you soothe the savage beast. Chanteuse Elizaveta shows off her considerable vocal chops in what has become known as "opera pop," Imperial Teen drops more of their boy-girl harmonies, Goldfrapp gathers together the best of their sultry, electro-sex rock in their singles album, and The Fray lays out more of their alternative piano rock.
"Beatrix Runs" (Elizaveta)
Chanteuse Elizaveta drops her new "opera pop" album, "Beatrix Runs", and this internationally bred sensation is already making her mark. She has been compared to Adele, Sarah McLaughlin, and Bjork, and one listen to her trance-like lyrics makes it easy to see why. She starts sweet, with "Armies of Your Heart", and instantly goes dark in her next track, "Meant." The track showcases Elizaveta’s piano chops, and her choppy, staccato notes bring a pall of sadness and lost love through lyrics of, "I still think that we were meant to be...I still dream that you were meant for me."
This alabaster-skinned beauty channels the Victorian era and the wonders of nature in her new video, "Dreamer," the third track on this new album. Her rapid-fire lyrics of "I believe in fairytales and serendipitous encounters" spill into operatic dirges where she maintains a thin, fine note that pierces as she sings, "Leave your fear of love behind, let your dreaming be your guide." She slides into the old-time feel popular among singers like Adele and Rumer in "Snow in Venice", backed by piano chords. The video for this new track shows the same bal-masque, fairy tale vibe that crops up in her other videos, plus some Italian-language lyrics likely picked up in her childhood spent moving throughout Europe.
"Nightflyers" gives off a more modern, Duran Duran vibe, and "Orion" has a mellow pop feel, with clap-tracks and Elizaveta’s singular vocals. The title track, "Beatrix Runs", is a story of a vagabond soul’s path toward escape from her family, sent off to running the roads. And in "Odi Et Amo," Elizaveta hits all of the operatic highs, with soaring precision. A hint of electro surfaces in "Victory", a song about resigning oneself to love. She closes, appropriately, with "Goodbye Song," singing, "Please remember: I love you dearly although we have to part." If Elizaveta’s work is any indication of how the "opera pop" format is set to unfold, it is definitely moving in a positive direction. (Universal Republic Records)
"The Singles" (Goldfrapp)
The English duo of Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory bring their sexy mix of electro and performance art together with this new ’best of’ album, featuring 14 hot tracks. The album features top hits from "Supernature," including the sultry opener, "Ooh La La," a song that seems made for sex, which Goldfrapp has described as "Glam fantasy, with lots of post-production and fantasy graphics. Wanton girl goes wrong. Broken heart and fuck off."
The band is known for their love of animal totemry, often donning wolf or stag’s heads and horsetails for their stage shows. Alison Goldfrapp keeps the fire going in "Number 1," howling, "You’re my number one/ I’m like a dog to get you" as the electronic keyboard keeps the party going. "Strict Machine" is similarly sultry and modern, a song for those on the prowl. "Lovely Head" has spectral breaks that evoke a Theremin. "Utopia" has a very future-forward feel, and "A&E" does a 180 turn to an ethereal feel. "Happiness" has a ’60s-era beatnik meets surf-rock vibe, very Strawberry Alarm Clock. "Train" chugs along till it meets with "White Horse", the band’s much-touted party anthem, previously featured in "The L Word."
Alison Goldfrapp’s breathy, soft soprano vocals are on display in "10 Rocket", a catchy electronic tune that hearkens back to the experimental rock of the ’80s, as she sings, "Ooh, I’ve got a rocket, Ooh, you’re going on it, you’re never coming back," complete with a countdown and blast off. Synth is on display in "Believer", and "Black Cherry" is a slow, sultry, but somehow sad tune of love divided. This stellar collection of singles wraps up with two new singles, "Yellow Halo" and "Melancholy Sky," both lush, romantic soundscapes of Gregory’s multi-layered synth and string arrangements. In the littered, uneven field of electro rock, Goldfrapp has already proven themselves far above the fray. This collection of singles only serves as a reminder of that fact. (February 7, Mute Records)