- Goldfrapp: Alison Goldfrapp, Will Gregory.
- Additional personnel: Adrian Utley (guitar, bass); Andy Davis (guitar); Mark Linkous (synthesizer); Charlie Jones (bass); Rowen Oliver (drums, percussion); Damon Reece (drums); Nick Batt, Rowan Oliver (programming).
- Personnel: Alison Goldfrapp (vocals, synthesizer); Adrian Utley, Andy Davis (guitar); Nick Batt (synthesizer, programming); Will Gregory (synthesizer); Rowan Oliver (drums, percussion, drum programming); Damon Reece (drums).
- Audio Mixers: Tom Elmhirst; Dave Bascombe; Alison Goldfrapp; Steve Orchard; Will Gregory.
- Recording information: AIR (2002).
- Illustrator: Big Active.
- Photographer: Polly Borland.
- Arrangers: Alison Goldfrapp; Will Gregory.
- A striking departure from Goldfrapp's well-received, cinematically atmospheric debut, FELT MOUNTAIN, 2003's BLACK CHERRY finds the British electronica duo cutting loose with a more energetic and dynamic set. The approach allows vocalist Alison Goldfrapp to indulge her inner Debbie Harry, while multi-instrumentalist Will Gregory playfully nods to 1980s synth-pop on saucy, percolating tunes such as "Crystalline Green" and "Train." Though many of BLACK CHERRY's tracks are geared toward the dance floor, particularly the glam-tinged "Strict Machine," the record still has relaxed moments, including the gorgeously swooning title track and the wonderfully dreamy "Deep Honey." Adding texture to the mix are top-notch auxiliary musicians, most notably Sparklehorse's Mark Linkous on synthesizer and Portishead's Adrian Utley on guitar and bass, resulting in a surprisingly layered album that truly works its magic with repeated listens. For those enamored of the group's club-friendly direction, Goldfrapp would proceed down a strobe-lit alley even further on this disc's follow-up, SUPERNATURE.
Rolling Stone (5/15/03, p.134) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...Both retro and futuristic, like vintage synth pop heard through a wall of disortion..."
Spin (5/03, p.116) - "...Singer Alison Goldfrapp still wails like Kate Bush haunting a fog-soaked moor..." - Grade: B
Q (01/01/04, p.76) - Ranked #35 in Q's "The 50 Best Albums of 2003" - "[T]his is plump, overripe music that squelches and squeals deliciously."
Uncut (01/04, pp.84-7) - Ranked #34 in Uncut's "Albums Of The Year 2003"
Uncut (6/03, p.98) - 5 stars out of 5 - "...Electro-funky and headily lovely, 'Crystalline Green' is just one of the album's several masterpieces..."
Magnet (4/03, p.88) - "...The synths are dank and gloomy, and Goldfrapp's sad-girl voice sounds suitably disembodied and ethereal..."
CMJ (5/503, p.10) - "...The mesmerizing arctic chill of FELT MOUNTAIN is gone, replaced instead with the leather, mascara, beats and muscle of BLACK CHERRY..."
Mojo (Publisher) (5/03, p.91) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...[Goldfrapp] possess a masterful ear for stirring melodies, a healthy carnality and a furtive sense of humour that makes for rich, three-dimensional, six-sensual pop music that raises them high above many contemporaries..."