Monday, March 4, 2013

Cocteau Twins - Head Over Heels

Cocteau Twins – Head Over Heels
4AD, 1983
Acquired: Half Price Books, Used, 2013
Price: $2

Cocteau Twins second album is loaded with unintelligible vocals, cryptic drum machines, and floats by on moodiness and a beautifully crafted atmosphere. I’d only listened to Heaven or Las Vegas before this one and as always it’s fun to play musical connect the dots. How does a band get from murky goth-tinged post-punk to ethereal dream pop creating one of the hallmarks of the genre? How would I know! There are like four albums between Head Over Heels and Heaven or Las Vegas so that’s a road I’m likely to go down. Mostly because as a rabid Cure and Kate Bush fan, Jenny is enamored with this stuff and I’m always looking for stuff to put on and both enjoy (there’s a certain guilt I feel subjecting her to say, Bad Brains or Pixies or copious amounts of John Prine and Billy Bragg). Head Over Heels had Elizabeth Fraser and Robin Guthrie functioning as a duo following the departure of bassist Will Heggie. Fraser’s vocals are psychotically great at times, especially on the intense closer “Musette and Drums.” The interplay between Guthrie’s dark complexity and Fraser’s so-damn-close-to-ethereal vocals shining through is fantastic. It's like some kind of punch drunk daydream.

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