Review Summary: Confessions from the other side.
The urge to pigeon-hole this album into a slipstream of consciously subconscious thoughts regarding its musical neighbors is sometimes greater than it needs to be. The reluctance to do so however is mostly due to Johnny’s [_well] pandering that some measure of research
would serve me better than vague generalizations. He’s right. The same could be said of most pieces of music ever put to a cassette, disc or vinyl and the need to unpack Milk and Kisses
robust themes cry for the right
kind of attention. This has mostly to do with the fact that Cocteau Twins’ music is rather ambiguous and somewhat unique, but still manages to suit in the realms of dream pop. That about clears it up doesn’t it?
Nope? That’s okay. I think I was in the same boat. Or maybe I was in a vessel of a different sort. Either way I hope to explore Cocteau Twins in a manner that won’t draw too much ire from those who would know better
. My illustrious (and [so far] very short-lived) journey with Cocteau Twins brought me to Heaven or Las Vegas
. You see, I needed somewhere to start and rather ironically I found myself reviewing a band’s ending. As such I tested the waters by dipping my toe into something that could easily be described as “moods’; ethereal, twinkly or wholesome. It made sense, and even as I traversed the well-trodden planes towards that of Milk and Kisses
I couldn’t help shake the dream pop atmospheres of my research. Heaven or Las Vegas
did something to the tone of getting me ready, but I was still as much a maiden to the subtle nuance that would drive me towards liking the Liz Fraser led tilt. By now you’ve probably realized I’m being slightly evasive, if not a little bitc
h about this. This probably stems from my lack of familiarity [completely], but I'll push on nonetheless.
In finding the sum of Milk and Kisses
’ parts I came to some quick conclusions. Putting aside the knee-jerk reactionary; hair pulling ilk that screamed “why the fuck
are you doing this to yourself?” I put on my reviewers’ perspective and tried channeling something...constructive, prose or no prose.
“Violaine” has an impact as far as dream pop goes, but the album’s larger mainstays are found in its belly. “Tishbite” has that accessibility, a culmination of all the clinical stereotypical climes mentioned at the top of this review. These moods are melt-worthy; an air of atmosphere akin to the abrasiveness of an uncomfortable pillow. You know peace is one more adjustment away and yet, there’s another shift as Milk and Kisses
moves into “Half-Gifts”, “Rilkean Heart” and “Ups”, all of which make a listener feel ‘safe’ while taking them on an adventure off-world. That’s vague right? Good. That’s how Milk and Kisses
feels, taking what’s comfortable within the niche and stretching that feeling
outside of it. Further travels down this short-lived path led me towards the likes of “Treasure Hiding” where light ebbs of ethereal twinkling swayed like a breeze through trees. It’s not until the track’s back half does this twinkling landscape move into something more ‘conventional’ hooks thrown into lyrical phrases like they were born to be there
. “Treasure Hiding” fits the bill for casual listening and transcends its own mood; self important as it ushers in the album’s closing sections.
Despite the baser unnatural waters I’ve found myself in, I have found something
in Milk and Kisses
larger feel. Will I return to Cocteau Twins in the future? I might need an arm twisted. Largely I’ve found Milk and Kisses
essentially non essential for better and
worse. That aside I’m willing to admit that Cocteau Twins’ sound aesthetic is beautiful and pleasantly uncomfortable at times. As such it should be treated as perfect Sunday afternoon listening. Hugs and...