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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the most underrated Cocteau Twins album
I felt compelled to write a review to defend this album since many people are negative and dismissive about it. In contrast to these people I have always felt that "Garlands" was one of the Cocteau Twin's strongest releases.

I am immediately struck by the haunting atmosphere, the icy sounding guitars, the dark snake-like bass lines, the cold percussion and Liz...
Published on 8 Dec 2007 by Rev Q Sand

versus
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Grail Filling but not Quite Overfloweth
Garlands was the first album from Cocteau Twins and it is very much the sound of a band finding their feet. It is the only album with original bassist Will Heggie and his chugging basslines give the album a distinctive sound. Robin Guthrie, by his own admission, had no idea how a studio worked at the time, but was confident enough in his burgeoning ability to produce. The...
Published on 13 Nov 2005 by M. G. Pennington


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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the most underrated Cocteau Twins album, 8 Dec 2007
This review is from: Garlands (Audio CD)
I felt compelled to write a review to defend this album since many people are negative and dismissive about it. In contrast to these people I have always felt that "Garlands" was one of the Cocteau Twin's strongest releases.

I am immediately struck by the haunting atmosphere, the icy sounding guitars, the dark snake-like bass lines, the cold percussion and Liz Fraser's weird yet beautiful vocals. Though you could probably guess when the recording was made it still holds up as a unique and special piece of work. The guitar work in particular is spectacular - minimal, intense and brooding.

The Cocteau Twins slowly changed with each album and later releases are considerably more accessible to newcomers. There are no doubt people who will associate them with the brighter, more ethereal pop that they became known for but I've always preferred the darker, earlier albums (not that I dislike the later releases).

Those of you who like The Cure's "Pornography" and Siouxsie and The Banshees' "Ju Ju" will love "Garlands".
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary, 10 Dec 2008
This review is from: Garlands (MP3 Download)
Well there must be some mistake here. I couldn't help writing something when I saw that nobody had bothered to review Garlands my favourite Cocteau's disc. That's extraordinary in itself but the really extraordinary thing is this record! It's a work of genius me thinks. Every time I read about The Cocteaus it seems to suggest that they didn't really do anything of any note until 'Victorialand' or some such piece of relative mediocrity. It gets to your very soul this one and goes through it and shakes it up a bit. Listen to this please (But only aftr dark) or get the BBC sessions. Pulsing! Not detailed or specific or good English I know, but hey its my first and probably last review.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Post-punk, pre-dreampop, 12 Jun 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Garlands (Audio CD)
Garlands is often regarded now as not being as good as the rest of the Cocteau Twins' albums. Everyone had to start somewhere, though, and I really still like Garlands. Check out some great bass playing by Will Heggie - he left after this album. It is worth ensuring that you get the additional tracks, too - "Dear Heart" is among their best.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolutely wonderful album, 3 Dec 2006
By 
Philip Lewis (Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Garlands (Audio CD)
I can't believe the negative comments I've been reading about this album. I owned it on vinyl as an angst-ridden student in the early 1980s, and just loved its dark, haunting and melancholy sounds. Yes it was a raw sound, but nonetheless wonderful. For some reason I never bought any of their subsequent albums, and therefore recently purchased, out of curiosity, one of their collections albums (Stars And Topsoil), believing that the standards set with Garlands may have been maintained, or even improved upon. I was a little bit disappointed. After Garlands it seems they lost much of their moody and melancholy minor key sound, which I had loved, and now seemed to create music that was far too optimistic, and mostly in major keys. So, to me, Garlands seems to have been Cocteau Twins' high point, an absolute gem.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Grail Filling but not Quite Overfloweth, 13 Nov 2005
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This review is from: Garlands (Audio CD)
Garlands was the first album from Cocteau Twins and it is very much the sound of a band finding their feet. It is the only album with original bassist Will Heggie and his chugging basslines give the album a distinctive sound. Robin Guthrie, by his own admission, had no idea how a studio worked at the time, but was confident enough in his burgeoning ability to produce. The result is an album, and a guitar sound, with a strangled, constricted range and a dark ambience.In the post-punk world of the early 1980s the influence of Siouxsie and the Banshees and other proto-goths is clear, but the beginning of the trademark ethereal Twins sound is also here, especially in Elizabeth Fraser's curiously addictive vocals.

The songs are simple, repetitive and haunting, with guitar, vocals, bass and the gloriously lo-fi drum machine; usually entering separately and building to a climax, like 'Grail Overfloweth'. Other songs built around a simple repetive guitar refrain, almost Fripp-like in its minimalism, like album highlights 'Wax and Wane' or 'Blind Dumb Deaf.'

Unfortunately, this reissue omits the John Peel session which was probably many listeners first experience of the Cocteaus (it was certainly mine) and this is a shame as it is possibly the best of the early work with Heggie still in tow.

Overall, an interesting album, but not the place to start if you're new to the Cocteau Twins. Its probably of most interest to those who remember the original release, or want to see how the band started out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A strong debut by a sensational group, 4 May 2010
This review is from: Garlands (Audio CD)
This may not be the Cocteaus best Album, but it did create a template that the group built on for the rest of its career. The album clearly demonstrates the otherness that accompanies most of the group's work - and in the its first outing exhibited the group's three key factors that would ensure their successes - Liz Fraser's original vocal approach, Robin Guthrie's economic but multi-layered guitar style and an innovative use of the studio. The success of the album also allowed the group to build a fan base and supportive media, which would follow the group through it developments during the 1980s.

Not the first Cocteau album for beginners to start with, but a key piece in their canon.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing debut, 19 Mar 2004
This review is from: Garlands (Audio CD)
I think it's easy to miss the impact of this album if you only compare it to the later greater works. Taken on its own, and I remember buying it when it was first released, it has an incredible atmosphere and sound, taking off from JuJu-era Siouxsie, with wonderfully brittle vocals and glacial guitars. I still love it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars If you can't stand the heat..., 20 Jan 2014
This review is from: Garlands (Audio CD)
People who criticise 'Garlands' tend to be late(r) comers to the band, who think 'Treasure' is their masterpiece. Those of us who were there at the start would tend to see 'Treasure' as a good but diluted version of the true Cocteau sound, as evidenced by first John Peel session, 'Peppermint Pig', and the truly awesome 'Garlands'. This fuses proto-electronics with a heavier. Gothic drone than their later so-called 'blissed out' modes. However, to me it has always sounded punchier on vinyl, CD tending to wimp-out Guthrie's guitar. Get it on vinyl. Thrill to the delicious opening of 'Blood Bitch'. Then love the rest of it. 'Treasure', smeasure.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerising. A trip, 16 Nov 2013
This review is from: Garlands (Audio CD)
The reviewers who gave this album less than 5 stars probably don't like music anyway.

I had never heard the Twins before I heard this and have never bought anything by them again. I heard Victorialand later but it's very tepid compared to this.

The music here is dark, slightly haunting and very atmospheric.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fab!, 7 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Garlands (Audio CD)
I love the Cocteaus. This isn't their best but it's great nonetheless. Makes the hairs stand up on the back of your neck.That's what it's like.
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Garlands
Garlands by Cocteau Twins (Audio CD - 2003)
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