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187) Cocteau Twins - Treasure

I used to record John Peel on a 90-minute tape and then listen back and if he played a song, I liked I copied it onto my playlist tapes with my twin cassette player. The more of these I write I begin to see why I was never a success with women.

 

Anyway, the first time I heard the Cocteau Twins I assumed there was something wrong with my tape, ignorant I know. Second time I was “ah I remember them, that’s different” and by the third it was time to add them to my legendary playlist tapes, these tapes I imagine would be snapped up by the record buying public if they still existed although I do remember a critic, my sister, telling me I listened to a right load of crap.

 

Treasure is their third album but is the first to feature Simon Raymonde on bass who became a vital member alongside guitarist Robin Guthrie and vocalist Elizabeth Frazer.

 

Ah yes, Elizabeth Fraser. If you love your lyrics then the Cocteau’s are probably not for you but if you love a unique, startling, mournful, operatic, whispered, piercing voice then Liz is your girl. Her voice is a thing of beauty and adds as much to the songs as the actual music enhancing them to another level.

 

Guthrie and Ramonde have both criticised this album, they clearly know more than I, but I don’t see that, from the acoustic guitar and drums of the opener Ivo this is a record to wallow in and the shimmering guitar of Lorelei is stark and effective as Frazer purrs over the music.

 

Pandora is sparce before Fazer and the band crash in, again no idea what she is saying, but her voice is in perfect harmony with the band.

 

Domino ends the album in a dramatic way with Guthrie adding feedback to his guitar and Frazer harmonising with herself before a kick in at two and a half minutes that elevates the song.

 

The Cocteau’s take a bit of getting used to but once they you have got them each listen reveals further beauty.

 

8.5/10

 

GIVE IT A STREAM: Domino

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