CocoRosie
Noah's Ark


4.0
excellent

Review

by Zach Katonik USER (13 Reviews)
October 11th, 2010 | 14 replies | 7,220 views


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: All afloat the imaginative boat.

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

Many albums have been associatively stamped with the prominence of bringing the listener back to their childhood. It's the music that brings back fond memories of places, events, relationships…yadda yadda. The most ridiculous form of this everyone has heard: “My mom would play this or that through her womb to my little, undeveloped fetus ears, and that is why I am so musically inclined today.” Noah’s Ark tops all those albums by substantially using childhood sounds. Remember that nursery toy that made farm animal noises when you were a child? It’s called “The Farmer Says” and it’s made by Fisher-Price. Who would have thought to incorporate that thing into actual song recordings? CocoRosie. The lyrics either rapped or sang are far from nursery rhymes though. On the contrary, beautiful imagery, carefree inner thoughts, and haunting ideas create a personal atmosphere that suits the demented children’s music, if you will, so well. Ever since encountering the freak-folk sisters – Sierra and Bianca Casady, I was taken aback by the beyond creative capabilities they have. Noah’s Ark is certainly bizarre, but there are quantum amounts of beneficial things to take away from this album.

Firstly, I have never seen so wild an imagination as I do in these ladies. The key to an untainted creative mind is to be as a lowly child. Abandoning all prideful pretense of adulthood is the start of expanding one’s imagination. Take time to notice the small things. Enjoy colors. So this is one ingredient in the art of CocoRosie – reliving childhood, or simply continuing it through the experienced mind of a “grown-up”. Another quite obvious contributing factor is (my accusation is not a hasty generalization) one or more influence of drugs. The creative genius born of a free mind is surely appreciated, but chasing fairies in the woods as they claimed to have done in an interview goes without saying. The first track “K-Hole” is even a drug reference. It’s probably pertinent that listeners understand that CocoRosie are more influenced by paintings, make-up, and cultures, than certain bands or genres. It’s clear that Noah’s Ark is an output of the souls of these girls, not an attempt at making the record charts.

Diverse instrumentation is a highlight in this album. Aforementioned toy sounds are used along with synth, acoustic guitar, de-tuned piano, harp…as long as it’s not too rock-oriented - they probably have experimented with it. The beats range from beat-boxing to dissonant electronic loops. Most impressive is Sierra’s voice which soars to the heavens and lands gently on the drums of the listener’s ears. It brings to my mind the first time I heard the very similar sounding, angelic voice behind My Brightest Diamond. The type that everyone wants to hear sing them a lullaby. Then there is brat-sounding voice of Bianca to come wake you up from your lovely dreams. Drawing comparisons from Joanna Newsom, she brings equilibrium to the music, giving it an edge and an attitude. Devendra Banhart makes a rather pleasant appearance on “Brazilian Sun”. Antony Hegarty makes “Beautiful Boyz” all the more uncomfortable, by swooning along with free-love sisters. “Bisounours” features a creepy r&b moaning pattern leading into French rapper – Spleen’s verses that resemble Flight of The Conchords "Foux Du Fafa". It’s a rather humorous song. A music box, ringing telephone, and harmonica can be heard in “South 2nd”. Skip the track, and an overwhelming combination of random sounds that should never be heard in the same place swarm into a strangely beautiful and haunting structure. A horse’s whinnying, a music box pattern, a kitten meowing, a beat-box style beat, a lo-fi opera-style wailing, and snob-sounding, half-talked/half-sung vocals all in one track. The title track rises far above the other tracks with a catchy sing-along chorus and clear and concise verses beautifully chirped. There are some cohesive moments on the album when group singing chimes in a folky “sit-around-the-campfire” style, like in “Armageddon”.

Lyrically, the stories and ideas told by these nymphs touch on things that have never crossed most people’s minds. Some only amount to jumbled thoughts, while others create worlds. Subconscious themes are plenty like that in this line: “I dreamt one thousand basketball courts,
nothing holier than sports”. Tongue-in-cheek religious matters are played with: “What's God’s name? I can't remember”, “There'll be a place for us in heaven's gate waiting for us on lay away”, “God must have been a color blind”. There’s no telling where the Casady sisters got the idea that they were abducted by Noah with his animals, but it sure makes for intriguing fiction! Even disturbing and depressing things such as rape are written about in a poetic nature. “I'm riding recklessly through a thick and humid jungle growing anxious with the primal yearning that stirs deeply pulsing up toward the surface like sap rising or honey or tar.” Spanish and French both make an appearance in the lyric booklet for all the multi-lingual folks out there.

Whether CocoRosie’s artistry is a product of narcotics, emotional scars, spiritual visions, a fulfilling dream-life, or plain old free-spiritedness, one thing is certain. Noah’s Ark reaches the listener like not many can. As haunting as it is gorgeous, it hits you deep within the soul. A friend joked with me saying CocoRosie was bound to give her nightmares. “Typical”, I thought. To my surprise, within that week, I literally had a nightmare about these freak-folkers. One can say they are unique, but it lacks the proof until actually lived out like CocoRosie.

Recommended track:
"Noah's Ark"



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user ratings (49)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
brutebeard
October 11th 2010



1655 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Noticed the first paragraph was worded awkwardly, i fixed it...take away that neg. whoever you are!

Douglas
October 11th 2010



9098 Comments


haahahah @ album art

Digging: James Vincent McMorrow - Post Tropical

vanderb0b
October 11th 2010



3473 Comments


best album art ever.

DeafMetal
October 11th 2010



8588 Comments


Great review dude, but I just find this album so pretentious beyond words.

Digging: Hawkwind - Space Ritual

brutebeard
October 11th 2010



1655 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

How's that dude? Thx for the pos

DeafMetal
October 11th 2010



8588 Comments


I like CocoRosie's creativity. I like Sierra's voice. I like their incorporation of other genres (lo-fi opera, hip-hop, R&B, folk, electronics), but looking at the album as a whole, it's so over-the-top pretentious. With their absurd garb and facepaint you WOULD expect them to play "hip-hop folk electronic R&B indie" and use childhood toys as instruments.

DeafMetal
October 11th 2010



8588 Comments


And I don't find Banhart's appearance all that pleasant.

PS: Lol @ "Spleen".

brutebeard
October 11th 2010



1655 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

So that shouldn't be appraised as innovative genius? Gosh what is this world coming to? The songs are beautiful still, not just cramming everything in without rhyme or reason. Joanna, my friend is overrated.

DeafMetal
October 11th 2010



8588 Comments


Stop comparing CocoRosie to Joanna Newsom. They play nothing alike.

And, no, that shouldn't be praised as "innovative" and certainly not "genius". What if I took some
leaves, a PVC pipe, and a bouncy ball and made some noises with them in the background of a song. Is
that genius or prententious? You decide.

brutebeard
October 11th 2010



1655 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Until you build up enough will-power to back up your ideas, I still would have to hear the finished product. Outta here with your hypothetical reasoning. They combine "common" instruments with uncommon devices making for a special listen that is outside mainstream and underground music. I compare them to Joanna because Bianca has a similar vocal style, and just as thoughtful lyrics, just more succinct than her.

DeafMetal
October 11th 2010



8588 Comments


You can't compare CocoRosie to Joanna Newsom just because the vocals sound similar! One plays... this,
and the other plays progressive folk, respectively. The styles are nothing alike.

Their use of the "The Farmer Says" on the album is extremely incoherent. All of a sudden, you hear a
MOO! It's just so pretentious. Not genius, not compelling.

It's CREATIVE, but I'd credit the drugs for that.

Anthracks
July 3rd 2011



3734 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

this is so amazing

Digging: Devangelic - Resurrection Denied

brutebeard
July 12th 2011



1655 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

certainly is

CK
October 14th 2013



4910 Comments


http://doradorovitch.bandcamp.com/



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