Alison Goldfrapp has taken her Goldfrapp vehicle in a decidedly seedier direction in 2003. No longer satisfied with the dream pop/trip-hop of her excellent 2001 album, Felt Mountain, Alison has seen the clash of electrons and, evidently, liked the results. Gone are the breathy vocals and downtempo beats, replaced on Black Cherry by a mesh of dirty disco diva and electroclash action. On "Train," the first single and the video of which you can peep on Player .042 in the next week or so, the bassline rumbles like a Manhattan subway, Alison lustily warbles and you feel just as dirty exiting the song as the train, while "Twist" is a '80s new wave dancefloor throwback, full of sassy vocals and sassier synths. Don't let the fact that Ms. Goldfrapp comes across like a tarty Bernadette Peters throw you off: these aren't show tunes, Alison isn't planning on starring in a remake of The Jerk, and unless Ms. Peters has recently been visited by the talent fairy, this booty-shaker is the responsibility of the new-look Goldfrapp. It wasn't broken, but she's fixed it.
JEREMY P. GOLDSTEIN