Goldfrapp

Utopia

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Goldfrapp's "genetically enriched" Utopia EP combines all the tracks from both of the U.K. singles and features a whopping five versions of the title track, including the album version as well as several remixes. Jori Hulkkonen, Tom Middleton, and Tim Wright take the song in various dance-oriented directions, all of which are pleasant enough but not especially distinctive, especially when compared to the sweeping, icy grandeur of the original. Likewise, the live version of "Human" is notable more for how well Goldfrapp re-creates the atmosphere of Felt Mountain in a concert setting than for any variations or improvements on it. However, the whispery, exotica-tinged "Utopia (Sunroof Mix)" adds a subtle, fresh twist to the song, while Calexico's Spanish cover of "Human" expands on that song's filmic feel and takes it in a very different direction. Last but not least, the witty, electro-inspired rendition of Olivia Newton-John's "Physical" -- known here as "U.K. Girls (Physical)" proves that for all of Goldfrapp's haughty drama, the duo's tongues are placed firmly in their sculpted cheeks. Fans of the group who haven't already bought the U.K. singles from which this EP is derived will be pleased to know that Utopia is as entertaining as any mini-album with five versions of the same song can possibly be.

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