When you’re able to hear a song for the first time, only to be completely floored by what you’re hearing, the chances of you remembering the song for years to come are pretty good. In fact, that’s exactly how I felt about Goldfrapp’s ‘Lovely Head’. I still remember the very first time I heard the track, and how I was utterly lost as to what I was hearing. It sounded unlike nothing I had ever heard before, and I knew I had to hear more.
There is something qual parts creepy and alluring about ‘Lovely Head’. From the track’s opening seconds, there is a feeling of something you’re unsure about coming at you. Thankfully, Will Gregory’s instrumentation moves the track along until we’re hearing some high lonesome whistling that results in a luscious mix that wouldn’t be out of place in an ambient track. Slowly, harpsichords and strings enter, before the enticing vocals of Alison Goldfrapp come into play.
Goldfrapp sings of love, yet it feels detached and cold, as if sung by a psychopath. Something about singing of someone’s ‘lovely head’ just sounds… off. The verses pass by, and the chorus is incoming, but when the chorus arrives, it’s not what is expected. It sounds like a mixture of a theremin and a guitar playing a solo all at once, but alas, this is not the case. Rather, the chorus is a wordless melody by Alison Goldfrapp, with her voice sent through voice modulators to the point where it’s unrecognisable. Again, we feel like we know what we’re hearing, but it’s still off.
The song goes on, returning to another verse, before sending us back to another wordless chorus, and then giving us a last line; “Frankenstein would want your mind/Your lovely head, your lovely head.” Again, cold and detached. Is this a love song, or are we being primed for something sinister coming our way?
All throughout the song, there’s an uneasy feeling, where everything feels so familiar, yet everything is so new and strange at the same time. Sure, we’re given relatively normal song structure’s and compositions, but it doesn’t feel right. Despite this, we’re almost tempted to keep listening to see if there’s a resolution to the track. But it never comes, and we’re left feeling cold, empty, and still yearning for more.