MUSIC REVIEWS: The Coral Sea and Goldfrapp

Patti Smith/Kevin Shields
The Coral Sea

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If someone said that punk poet laureate, Patti Smith, would be pairing up with My Bloody Valentine’s, Kevin Shields, for a live performance, I would have told them to stop using drugs. The two paired up to do a live performance a few years back and the live album, The Coral Sea, is the result. The album is a musical memorial dedicated to Robert Mapplethorpe, a friend of Smith. The live disc includes excerpts from Smith’s epic poem of the same title.

Smith, a legend in her own right, comes through with a heartbreaking record and Shields is brilliant as always, accompanying Smith on guitar throughout her spoken word performance. If you’re a Smith fan or looking for an original kind of music, this is the album for you.

Corey Crossfield

Seventh Tree

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Dance party people, alert. Goldfrapp’s latest release may not be on your playlist. If you’ve got the patience, and if you liked her earlier material, still give this a listen.

It’s fitting that Alison Goldfrapp looks like a grown-up Goldilocks. Her latest, Seventh Tree, evokes images of riding through a forest, in the middle of a kind of offbeat fairy tale. Though not as energetic or glamorous as recent releases, this album seems to be a return to her debut Felt Mountain. Beautifully arranged, Seventh Tree offers plenty of sensual, soothing songs, both contemplative and healing.

“Little Bird,” the second track, is practically symphonic. The way the music sways and builds until it’s all around you, with Alison’s angelic voice, backed by drums and atmospherics, is absolutely blissful. “Happiness,” is like a tiny, cheerful circus with its playful rhythm and catchy introduction. “Road to Somewhere” gently pulsates and guides the soul. “Cologne Cerrone Houdini” is sultry but sophisticated.

Seventh Tree brings us into the summer soothing and gently edging the soul forward.

Christine Thelen

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