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ALBUM REVIEW | POP

Goldfrapp, ‘Tales of Us’

Composer Will Gregory and vocalist Alison Goldfrapp, both from the UK, have been writing music together under the name Goldfrapp since 2000, when they released “Felt Mountain” — a weird, seductive venture into a world of retro and futuristic synths, cabaret atmospherics, and Bond songs that never were. Later, they moved toward electropop/dance music. “Tales of Us” is closer to “Felt Mountain” and “Seventh Tree” (their folk-influenced 2008 album) than to the rest of their work. The songs are impressionist character sketches, often dark. “Annabel” is a confusing tale of gender confusion; “Clay” evokes forbidden love. Goldfrapp’s vocals flit Björk-like between whispers and swells, occasionally climbing to the highest peaks of an incredible range. Most of the tracks feature strings, but only one, “Thea,” a breathless dance ballad, has a beat. Like “Felt Mountain,” the album has a movie score feel, but this time every track is its own short film. (Out now)

ESSENTIAL “Annabel”

Goldfrapp plays the Paradise Rock Club Sept. 20.

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