Head First

When we last heard from Alison Goldfrapp, she was indulging her inner hippie-hugging trees and providing ambient down-tempo textures on 2008's Seventh Tree, an album that served as a rustic counterpoint to the glittery electro-glam of 2005's Supernature.

On Head First, it sounds as if Goldfrapp has spent the past couple of years hanging out in Miami, listening to copious amounts of '80s pop and watching Scarface on DVD repeatedly. If Supernature was Goldfrapp's take on disco-era excess, Head First is its coked-up companion piece. The album's fizzy first single, "Rocket," is good, but the hooks are even better elsewhere, like on the darkly breezy "Dreaming." And despite the abundance of synths, the title track somehow manages to not sound cheesy. Even "Alive," with a melody copped from Billy Joel's "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me," works. The space-psychedelia of "Voicething," built solely around Goldfrapp's looped coos, closes the trip.

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