Head First (Goldfrapp album)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Head First
Goldfrapp - Head First.png
Studio album by Goldfrapp
Released 19 March 2010 (2010-03-19)
Recorded July–December 2009 in Bath, Somerset and London
Genre
Length 38:08
Label Mute
Producer
Goldfrapp chronology
iTunes Originals – Goldfrapp
(2008)
Head First
(2010)
The Singles
(2012)
Singles from Head First
  1. "Rocket"
    Released: 5 March 2010 (2010-03-05)
  2. "Alive"
    Released: 7 June 2010 (2010-06-07)
  3. "Believer"
    Released: 6 September 2010 (2010-09-06)

Head First is the fifth studio album by English electronic music duo Goldfrapp, released 19 March 2010 by Mute Records. The album spawned three singles: "Rocket", "Alive" and "Believer". It received a nomination for Best Electronic/Dance Album at the 2011 Grammy Awards.[3]

Background and development[edit]

"I think we just wanted something really simple and that had a sort of euphoric-ness to it. A kind of slightly surreal but dreamy quality—pink clouds and [the feeling that] you can carry on forever. A sort of slight fantasy feeling."

Alison Goldfrapp discussing the album artwork for Head First.[4]

In July 2009, Goldfrapp announced that they had begun recording their fifth studio album.[5] A photoshoot for the album took place in November 2009. The duo hoped to have the album recorded by December 2009.[6] A press release issued ahead of the release described Head First as their "most powerful trip to date, a speedy rush of synth optimism, euphoria, fantasy and romance. With life affirming lyrics and stellar production it lifts off at full tilt and takes us on a journey to the heart of 2010."[7]

Alison Goldfrapp explained that the upbeat nature of the album was inspired by her desire to create something "a little bit like Supernature, but that had a warmer sound—maybe not as hard."[4] Describing their previous album Seventh Tree as an "intimate, dreamy, more introspective album" which was created in response to deep unhappiness with her personal life following the tiring Supernature tour, Head First was a reaction to wanting "to get out the synths again, put your hands in the air" and "set about making an 'up' album."[4]

In the following years, after re-signing to Mute after its split from parent label EMI, Goldfrapp expressed dissatisfaction with the recording process and final composition of the album. Will Gregory described a "schedule" provided by EMI which they felt "blackmailed into sticking to" despite needing "another six months on Head First really."[8] This rushed process was something which they specifically aimed to address when recording their next album Tales of Us.[8] In terms of the artistic direction for Head First, Goldfrapp described the process as "very nasty";[8] EMI had pressured them to create a more commercial sound which was at odds with their plans for the record and their image.[8][9]

Overall, Goldfrapp expressed "not [feeling] very proud" and "not [being] crazy about" the album, describing it as too "on the nose".[10] Whilst singling out affection for "Voicething" and "Shiny and Warm" and admitting that there were "some good tunes on there", she felt as though they "should have given them to someone else instead of us releasing them as Goldfrapp."[10] In discussing re-signing with Mute after its separation from EMI, Goldfrapp expressed pleasure in their independence "and a new management who are on our side, they're not trying to make a quick buck" and that "it did feel like a new start... 'we're going to do what we want to do'."[8]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 68/100[11]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[12]
Entertainment Weekly B[13]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[14]
The Independent 3/5 stars[15]
NME 6/10[16]
Pitchfork Media 6.6/10[17]
Rolling Stone 2.5/5 stars[1]
Slant Magazine 4/5 stars[18]
Spin 8/10 stars[19]
The Times 3/5 stars[20]

Head First received generally positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 68, based on 22 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".[11] Heather Phares of AllMusic stated that the album "proves that Goldfrapp’s skill at adopting and fully embodying different styles is what makes them distinctive, not necessarily one signature sound", while noting the influence of Giorgio Moroder, ABBA and Xanadu-era Olivia Newton-John.[12] Leah Greenblatt of Entertainment Weekly wrote that "Head First sounds as if [Goldfrapp have] been commissioned to paint the inside of Olivia Newton-John's mind, circa 1980: all strobe-lit synths, feathery vocals, and goofy synonyms for sex."[13] Ian Wade of BBC Music raved, "Free of anything in the slightest bit terrible, Head First is amazing stuff."[21] At Spin, Lindsey Thomas commented that "Will Gregory creates a pitch-perfect neon-lit '80s wonderland with Hi-NRG bass lines and plenty of that fat synth sound made famous by Van Halen's 'Jump.'"[19]

Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine opined that "Head First is a brief trip, but it's saturated with enough hi-NRG motifs and sounds for countless sweaty workouts at Jack LaLanne."[18] In a mixed review, Alexis Petridis of The Guardian noted that "Head First returns Goldfrapp to commercial waters—this time the glossy, optimistic 1980s pop that provides the playlist backbone of Magic FM", but found that "there are instances when the songwriting isn't that exciting, when the choruses don't ascend quite as stratospherically as they're supposed to, and you're left listening to what is, in essence, an MOR pop album."[14] Rolling Stone‍ '​s Will Hermes expressed that Head First "may be the most lovingly detailed synth-pop album since the golden days of Yaz and Kim Carnes. Yet expert execution doesn't always signal a good idea."[1] Peter Paphides of The Times wrote, "The best moments on [...] Head First—'Believer' and the title track—also double as its uncoolest ones."[20] Marc Hogan from Pitchfork Media remarked, "Bringing 1980s roller-disco synth-pop motifs out of mothballs has given the UK duo their most immediately entertaining album since 2005 electro-glam juggernaut Supernature", but felt that the duo "fail to give each song a face as memorable as the overall album's Jane Fonda workout-video get-up."[17]

The album also received criticism for following the musical directions of artists that are said to have been influenced by Goldfrapp. Andy Gill of The Independent observed that "Goldfrapp now suddenly effect a complete volte-face on Head First, heading back to the electronic pop of their three previous releases", which is "a curious, circuitous trajectory which gives the impression that Goldfrapp are in the invidious position of playing catch-up to all the Gagas, LaRouxs [sic] and Little Boots upon whom they must surely have been a major influence."[15] Barry Nicolson of the NME commented, "Once the source of pop inspiration, now it seems they're content to follow", concluding that the album is "basically an upbeat electro-pop record with one foot in the '80s, much like roughly 85 per cent of music made in the last two years."[16] Kitty Empire of The Observer agreed, stating, "Having pre-empted the wave of womanly electro, they appear now to be behind rather than ahead of the curve", while calling the album "decent but unsurprising".[22]

Commercial performance[edit]

Head First debuted at number six on the UK Albums Chart with 23,261 copies sold in its first week,[23] earning Goldfrapp their third consecutive top-10 album.[24] The album had sold 70,000 copies in the United Kingdom by December 2010,[25] and on 22 July 2013, it was certified silver by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).[26] In the United States, Head First debuted at number 45 on the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 10,000 copies,[27][28] becoming the duo's highest-peaking album on the chart.[29]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory

No. Title Length
1. "Rocket"   3:51
2. "Believer"   3:43
3. "Alive"   3:28
4. "Dreaming"   5:07
5. "Head First"   4:30
6. "Hunt"   4:34
7. "Shiny and Warm"   3:58
8. "I Wanna Life"   4:13
9. "Voicething"   4:44

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Head First.[30]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
United Kingdom (BPI)[26] Silver 70,000[25]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label Ref.
Australia 19 March 2010 EMI [57][58]
Germany [59][60]
Ireland Mute [61][62]
Italy EMI [63][64]
Netherlands [65][66]
France 22 March 2010 Digital download [67]
Sweden [68]
United Kingdom
  • CD
  • LP + CD
  • digital download
Mute [69][70][71]
United States 23 March 2010
  • CD
  • digital download
Mute [72][73]
Sweden 24 March 2010 CD EMI [74]
France 28 March 2010 [75]
United States 12 April 2010 LP + CD Mute [76]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Hermes, Will (23 March 2010). "Goldfrapp: Head First". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Archived from the original on 24 March 2010. Retrieved 24 March 2010. 
  2. ^ Studarus, Laura (22 March 2010). "Goldfrapp: Head First (Mute)". Under the Radar. Retrieved 9 April 2012. 
  3. ^ "Nominees And Winners". Grammy Awards. The Recording Academy. Retrieved 3 December 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c Daw, Robbie (24 March 2010). "Goldfrapp: The Idolator Interview". Idolator. Spin Media. Retrieved 29 November 2013. 
  5. ^ Goldfrapp, Alison (18 September 2009). "Hello Nowhere Boy x". goldfrapp.com. Retrieved 13 November 2009. 
  6. ^ Goldfrapp, Alison (15 November 2009). "Hey Long Time No Speak x". goldfrapp.com. Retrieved 19 November 2009. 
  7. ^ Daw, Robbie (2 December 2009). "Goldfrapp Try To Keep Up With The News Of Their Upcoming Album". Idolater. Spin Media. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  8. ^ a b c d e Hasted, Nick (6 September 2013). "Interview: Goldfrapp explore the shadows". The Independent. Retrieved 29 November 2013. 
  9. ^ Hubbard, Michael (1 November 2013). "Interview: Goldfrapp". musicOMH. Retrieved 29 November 2013. 
  10. ^ a b Daw, Robbie (13 March 2012). "Goldfrapp On Past Singles, New Music & Remixing Lady Gaga: Interview". Idolater. Spin Media. Retrieved 29 November 2013. 
  11. ^ a b "Reviews for Head First by Goldfrapp". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  12. ^ a b Phares, Heather. "Head First – Goldfrapp". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  13. ^ a b Greenblatt, Leah (26 March 2010). "Head First". Entertainment Weekly (1095). Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  14. ^ a b Petridis, Alexis (18 March 2010). "Goldfrapp: Head First". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  15. ^ a b Gill, Andy (19 March 2010). "Album: Goldfrapp, Head First (Mute)". The Independent. Retrieved 21 March 2010. 
  16. ^ a b Nicolson, Barry (19 March 2010). "Album Review: Goldfrapp – 'Head First' (Mute)". NME. Time Inc. UK. Retrieved 21 March 2010. 
  17. ^ a b Hogan, Marc (25 March 2010). "Goldfrapp: Head First". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 9 April 2010. 
  18. ^ a b Cinquemani, Sal (10 March 2010). "Goldfrapp: Head First". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  19. ^ a b Thomas, Lindsey (April 2010). "Let There Be Neon". Spin: 87. ISSN 0886-3032. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  20. ^ a b Paphides, Peter (12 March 2010). "Goldfrapp: Head First". The Times. Archived from the original on 15 June 2011. Retrieved 16 March 2010. 
  21. ^ Wade, Ian (12 March 2010). "Review of Goldfrapp – Head First". BBC Music. Retrieved 12 March 2010. 
  22. ^ Empire, Kitty (14 March 2010). "Goldfrapp: Head First". The Observer. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 21 March 2010. 
  23. ^ "TV exposure helps Boyzone and GaGa to top charts". Music Week. Intent Media. 29 March 2010. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  24. ^ a b "Goldfrapp" (select "Albums" tab). Official Charts Company. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  25. ^ a b Miller, Ed (20 December 2010). "Machine digs for Goldfrapp". Music Week. Intent Media. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  26. ^ a b "British album certifications – Goldfrapp – Head First". British Phonographic Industry. 22 July 2013. Retrieved 29 June 2015.  Enter Head First in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Silver in the field By Award. Click Search
  27. ^ "Billboard 200: The Week of April 10, 2010". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  28. ^ Kaufman, Gil (31 March 2010). "Justin Bieber Takes #1 Billboard Spot With My World 2.0". MTV News. Viacom. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  29. ^ a b "Goldfrapp – Chart history: Billboard 200". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  30. ^ Head First (CD liner notes). Goldfrapp. Mute Records. 2010. CDSTUMM320. 
  31. ^ "Goldfrapp – Head First". australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  32. ^ "ARIA Dance – Week Commencing 29th March 2010" (PDF). ARIA Charts. Pandora Archive. p. 17. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  33. ^ "Goldfrapp – Head First" (in German). austriancharts.at. Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  34. ^ "Goldfrapp – Head First" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  35. ^ "Goldfrapp – Head First" (in French). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  36. ^ "Albums : Top 100". Jam!. 1 April 2010. Archived from the original on 1 April 2010. Retrieved 3 April 2010. 
  37. ^ "Goldfrapp – Head First" (in Dutch). dutchcharts.nl. Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  38. ^ Sexton, Paul (2 April 2010). "Amy Macdonald Tops Euro Chart For Second Week". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  39. ^ "Goldfrapp – Head First" (in French). lescharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  40. ^ "Goldfrapp – Head First" (in German). Offizielle Deutsche Charts. GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  41. ^ "Goldfrapp – Head First". greekcharts.com. Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 25 October 2015. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  42. ^ "Top 75 Artist Album, Week Ending 25 March 2010". Chart-Track. Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 26 March 2010. 
  43. ^ "Goldfrapp – Head First". italiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  44. ^ "Goldfrapp – Head First". mexicancharts.com. Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 25 October 2012. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  45. ^ "Goldfrapp – Head First". charts.org.nz. Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  46. ^ "Goldfrapp – Head First". norwegiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  47. ^ "Oficjalna lista sprzedaży". OLiS. 6 April 2010. Retrieved 7 April 2010. 
  48. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. 28 March – 3 April 2010. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  49. ^ "Goldfrapp – Head First". spanishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  50. ^ "Goldfrapp – Head First". swedishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  51. ^ "Goldfrapp – Head First". swisscharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  52. ^ "Goldfrapp – Chart history: Alternative Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  53. ^ "Goldfrapp – Chart history: Dance/Electronic Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  54. ^ "Goldfrapp – Chart history: Independent Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  55. ^ "ARIA Charts – End Of Year Charts – Top 50 Dance Albums 2010". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  56. ^ "Official Album Chart: 2010" (PDF). UKChartsPlus. p. 9. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  57. ^ "Head First". JB Hi-Fi. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  58. ^ "Head First (2010) | Goldfrapp". zdigital (AU). Archived from the original on 16 May 2013. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  59. ^ "Goldfrapp // Head First" (in German). EMI Music Germany. Archived from the original on 24 May 2010. Retrieved 22 March 2010. 
  60. ^ "Head First (2010) | Goldfrapp" (in German). 7digital (DE). Archived from the original on 18 December 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  61. ^ "Head first – Goldfrapp (CD)". HMV Ireland. Retrieved 30 June 2015. 
  62. ^ "Head First (2010) | Goldfrapp". 7digital (IE). Archived from the original on 4 June 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  63. ^ "Goldfrapp – Head First" (in Italian). Internet Bookshop Italia. Retrieved 22 March 2010. 
  64. ^ "Goldfrapp" (in Italian). 7digital (IT). Archived from the original on 16 June 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  65. ^ "Head First – Goldfrapp" (in Dutch). Free Record Shop. Archived from the original on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 10 July 2011. 
  66. ^ "Head First (2010) | Goldfrapp" (in Dutch). 7digital (NL). Archived from the original on 8 June 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  67. ^ "Head First (2010) | Goldfrapp" (in French). 7digital (FR). Archived from the original on 6 June 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  68. ^ "Head First (2010) | Goldfrapp" (in Swedish). 7digital (SE). Archived from the original on 8 July 2013. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  69. ^ "Goldfrapp: Head First". HMV. Archived from the original on 11 August 2011. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  70. ^ "Head First (12" Vinyl + CD) [VINYL] by Goldfrapp". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  71. ^ "Head First by Goldfrapp". iTunes Store (GB). Apple. Archived from the original on 1 August 2010. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  72. ^ "Goldfrapp: Head First". Amazon.com. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  73. ^ "Head First (2010) | Goldfrapp". 7digital (US). Archived from the original on 30 January 2013. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  74. ^ "Head First – Album – Goldfrapp" (select "Fakta" tab) (in Swedish). CDON.se. Retrieved 10 July 2011. 
  75. ^ "Head first – Goldfrapp – CD album" (in French). Fnac. Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
  76. ^ "Goldfrapp – Head First (Vinyl LP)". Amoeba Music. Retrieved 29 June 2015.