CocoRosie
Grey Oceans


4.0
excellent

Review

by Jeremy Fisette USER (34 Reviews)
May 10th, 2010 | 13 replies | 7,794 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An intriguing, mistifying, and beautiful album. (And don't let the atrocious cover art dissuade you too much.)

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

CocoRosie may be one of the more divisive acts in all of independent music. Tagged under the freak-folk umbrella early in their career, they have often joined in with (and/or been discussed alongside) the likes of Devender Banhart, Jana Hunter, and other members of Banhart's "Golden Apples of the Sun" project. Many of the artists included on that album have since shed themselves of the "freak folk" moniker, including Joanna Newsom, Iron and Wine, and Antony Hegarty. CocoRosie have not quite done so, but instead have moved into their own little nook, ever since 2005's "Noah's Ark" took them in that direction. What would their nook be called? Maybe "psych-pop" instead of folk, but it's really become quite an unclassifiable mix of hip hop beats, organic acoustics, and the pair's entirely different but equally unique, keening voices. That nook has been practically perfected, and taken a step further on their fourth full-length, 'Grey Oceans.'

You may have noticed the lack of information about the sisters' own odd background story. But I have excluded it on purpose because, you see, their history is less relevant now than ever. In the beginning, it may have been the key factor on if people tuned in to really check them out. It was very interesting, I'll admit that. But with 'Grey Oceans,' Sierra and Bianca Cassidy have truly released an album that seems to be entirely themselves, without being self-conscious or tired out in the trough of their much-repeated backstory (see: Bon Iver's cabin fever beauty 'For Emma, Forever Ago'.) And because of this new true, blossomed freedom, 'Grey Oceans' may be their best and most intricate album to date.

That being said, the whole thing kicks off with one of its worst songs. 'Trinity's Crying' is essentially a small-scale droning slew of minor guitar plucks and oddly affected vocals, until Sierra comes in repeating the title line as if it's supposed to be some triumphant climax, when really it renders as extremely futile and pointless. It goes nowhere. This may give a good glimpse at the darker sides of the album to come, but it is just done in such a painstaking, slow, and meandering manner. The only true redeeming quality is the way the next track feels after listening to the opener. "Smokey Taboo," is one of the duo's best yet, with its Eastern-tinged instrumentals, Bianca's trademark talk-singing, and Sierra's seriously gorgeous chops melting all over the back half.

'Grey Oceans' is a generally slow affair. It's their longest album yet, clocking in at almost 50 minutes, and also their most complex. Generally, their albums seemed to end right at the right time, and this one is no exception. It's paced very well despite the more funereal feel of the core of the album. Song titles such as "Undertaker," and "Gallows" provide a pretty clear example of the album's tone, as does the eerie music and carefully heavy vocals therewithin. This tone is lifted every now and then, like on the creepy but cheery sounding "Hopscotch" and the wonderful poppy chorus of album highlight "Lemonade." Or when Sierra lights up and works wonders on the very calm and pretty "RIP Burnface." The best track here, the title track, is a surprisingly gentle piano ballad. Bianca's voice loses its general stark creek for the most part, allowing her to sing an odd but personal ode to love ("The stubble on his face hurt me / When we fell on each other's faces,") all while Sierra fades in and out with her lovely operatic flutters, making this the obvious standout.

The album stumbles here and there, as most of their albums do. The aformentioned "Gallows" is an almost unbearably slow and spacious glacier of a song, barely containing anything to speak of. Vocals shift in and out, scratching against the other muted elements of the song. And the closer "Here I Come" is their worst finale yet, occupying most of its space with a simple loop of beats and processed "ah ah ah"s over a frustratingly obnoxious spoken-word ramble. It's such an underwhelming way to end such an intriguing, mistifying, and beautiful album. And just like their other records, this is not a perfect set. However, when these girls are on, they are really on. And there's really no denying that these two are constantly evolving and moving in the right direction, consistently delivering extremely detailed, very interesting, and fantastically composed works of music.

Download: Smokey Taboo, Grey Oceans



Recent reviews by this author
Sia 1000 Forms Of FearMarissa Nadler July
Goldfrapp Tales Of UsBat For Lashes The Haunted Man
Stars The NorthPerfume Genius Put Your Back N 2 It
user ratings (60)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
mepsipax (4)
Difficult but hugely rewarding, this is a stunning album....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Counterfeit
May 10th 2010



17819 Comments


Cover art is awesome, you crazy.

Counterfeit
May 10th 2010



17819 Comments


Cover art is awesome, you crazy.

Counterfeit
May 10th 2010



17819 Comments


Double (now triple) posts r dumb.

jeremologyy
May 10th 2010



263 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hhahaha.

brutebeard
September 29th 2010



1655 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Dude...just stumbled across these broads tonight.
I am deathly intrigued. Might 5 this or another album.


Aids
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2011



23798 Comments


fucking terrible album art, I just heard a song from these ladies though and was very intrigued. i will probably check this or another album out soon.

dylantheairplane
October 13th 2011



2164 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Smokey Taboo is incredibleee

Anthracks
February 14th 2013



3669 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

the new song is pretty great. pretty upbeat for their standards

Funeralopolis
June 25th 2013



11013 Comments


rocks

Digging: RATKING - So It Goes

InbredJed
June 25th 2013



5605 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

you would like this Funeral

Funeralopolis
June 28th 2013



11013 Comments


i do

Funeralopolis
July 4th 2013



11013 Comments


More people should hear this

manosg
July 24th 2013



5710 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is really intriguing. Might bump it in future time.

Digging: Donovan - Sunshine Superman



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy