9. Goldfrapp, Silver Eye (Mute)
One thing I’ve always enjoyed about Goldfrapp is how they never like to repeat themselves, instead preferring to shift gears, no matter how commercially successful the previous album was. Not only does it speak volumes about the integrity Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory have, but it also shows how versatile they are as songwriters and musicians. They always have new ideas. On the heels of 2013’s beautiful and melancholy Tales of Us, Goldfrapp threw another change-up in the form of Silver Eye, only this time with an added twist. The duo has always been auteurs, but this time around they decided to collaborate with two of the better producers today: John Congleton (best known for his work with St. Vincent and Baroness) and talented musician/producer The Haxan Cloak. The end result is an album that returns to the more electronic side of Goldfrapp’s oeuvre, balancing strong, pop friendly hooks and production choices that veer slightly towards the more abstract and avant-garde. Alison’s voice is, as always, at the forefront, but especially on the Haxan Cloak tracks like “Ocean” and “Moon in Your Mouth”, a hint of menace lurks just below the surface, making for some of the most foreboding music Goldfrapp has ever created. Contrasted with more immediately pleasing fare like “Anymore” and “Systemagic”, it all makes for an album that flirts with eclecticism yet retains that consistency that Goldfrapp have always been able to pull off. No matter what direction they take, the music always sounds like Goldfrapp: moody, adventurous, and like nothing else out there.