Review Summary: This album is full of gems.
The third release by the Scottish band Cocteau Twins is regarded by some as their best work. They have been an influence for bands such as that of Sigur Ros as Liz Fraser (singer) at times makes up words or have indecipherable lyrics. This can make the album seem indecipherable.
Ivo and Lorelei is a prime example of this as the lyrics are indecipherable. It has gentle guitars and the drums keep a nice, steady beat throughout the song. This is like nearly all of the songs as they use minimal effort, they never take the limelight from Liz. Her voice is very delicate, fragile and melodious. There are some lyrics which can be decipherable from those two songs.
Beatrix uses a keyboard which adds a lot to the song. Liz overlaps her vocals and this is used to the full advantage as it creates a very nice harmony to the song. The guitar plays a very small part and the drums keep the beat throughout the song. Persephone has more decipherable lyrics with her singing ‘It’s where it’s at’ throughout the song with an overlap of vocals again.
Amelia is also very nice, the guitars and drums play a more prominent role. They keep a more melodious role but Liz doesn’t sing as much as the previous songs. This adds a great atmosphere and is kept throughout the song. Aloysius is another song with indecipherable vocals, most likely due to her rich Scottish accent. The guitars and drums keep up the same melody which Liz is singing at, this adds to the atmosphere. Organs are added near the end of Cicely, this is a nice change to the mix.
Otterley is very soft; this adds a very gloomy atmosphere. Liz whispers her vocals which only boost this gloomy feel to the song. The guitars are soft and slow, the drums aren’t really heard. All of this makes for a very different, gloomy song where as the other songs on the album are upbeat, joyous and quicker. Domino, the final song, the start reminds me of a Christmas song with the upbeat and joyous vocals. It then moves to be very quiet but then when you’re prepared for a slow song the tempo changes with it suddenly becoming quicker. This continues for a while with the tempo as it will quiet then heavier and this continues for a while.
The album is full of indecipherable lyrics, this is due to Liz having a broad Scottish accent or just making up words. The guitars and drums never steal the limelight from Liz but they do make an upbeat atmosphere in most songs and never go too slowly or too quickly. The indecipherable lyrics may be off-putting but Liz’s vocal are very melodious and very appealing. This album really is a treasure.