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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars cocteaux' crowning glory- nobody does it better
I cannot rate this album higher, nobody has done a soundscape that compares... For me there has never been a singer that tops Liz Fraser for pure out-of-this-worldiness when it comes to alien-speak. The voice of an angel? Do me a favour and don't seek any words, there aren't any, but that's the beauty... No message. Listening to Oomingmak, I am reminded of driving...
Published on 1 Jun 2005 by jimgarr (fan extraordinaire IRL)

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2 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not A Classic...
Hmm...A number of reviews seem to rate this as one of the Cocteau's best. I can't really agree. If Im not mistaken, Liz Frazer said that, by this point in the Cocteau's history, they had begun to parody themselves, and it sounds like it to me, their weakest set. Built on a preponderance of Maj7 chords, it feels like they are treading old ground. Added to that, the brevity...
Published on 3 Jan 2008 by Sal


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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars cocteaux' crowning glory- nobody does it better, 1 Jun 2005
By 
jimgarr (fan extraordinaire IRL) (CRAWLEY, WEST SUSSEX United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Victorialand (Audio CD)
I cannot rate this album higher, nobody has done a soundscape that compares... For me there has never been a singer that tops Liz Fraser for pure out-of-this-worldiness when it comes to alien-speak. The voice of an angel? Do me a favour and don't seek any words, there aren't any, but that's the beauty... No message. Listening to Oomingmak, I am reminded of driving across Ireland to my homeland of Co Mayo, it makes me picture a Mintsrel's Gallery in a huge vaulted cathedral.. Hearing The Thiner The Air and I wonder if there was ever an operatic singer to better Miss Fraser, for someone who claims to have never had any formal training, it's an inspiration to us all. Everyone should hear this album, it is glorious in every sense of the word. This album has stayed with me since it's release, and will forever and ever amen. I want to buy a copy for everyone I know, just so they can experience what I have known.. How's that for a recommendation?
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect little gem..., 21 Aug 2005
By 
John David Charles Hilton "Creative spark...." (Redcliffe, Bristol United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Victorialand (Audio CD)
Victorialand is very much a product of CTs etherial phase. Gentle guitar figures, few if any drums, and Frazer's angelic tones. Maybe not the obvious choice to introduce yourself to the band (you would be better off with "Heaven or Las Vegas", "Blue Bell Knoll" or even "Treasure" for that matter).
Here we find them at their dreamiest it is the perfect companion to the twinned EPs "Tiny Dynamine" and "Echoes in a Shallow Bay". This is from that period when the group was reduced to a duo of Frazer and Guthrie. It has a sparser sound than we are used to, and maybe takes a few more plays to really 'get'.
Victorialand is not, really, a full scale album. It is a mini album weighing in at just under 33 minutes. The original vynil version played at 45rpm. But those 33 minutes contain some of the best music for daydreaming ever written. The purity of sound makes it ideal for CD...
Buy it and prepare to lose yourself in reverie....
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Cocteau's Album, 12 Dec 2002
In my opinion by far and away the best of the Cocteau Twin's albums. I prefer 'Otherness' and 'The Moon and the Melodies' but the former is only an e.p and the latter a collaboration listed as the work of Elizabeth Fraser, Robin Guthrie, Simon Raymonde and Harold Budd, not the Cocteau's.
From the first guitar note the music pulls you into a gorgeous aural bath. A gently strummed guitar drifts so elegantly from your speakers that it instantly slows you down to the album's unique pace and drags you deep into the soundscape that is slowly unfolding before you. After a minute a saxophone enters the fray with meditative phrases that just about manage to avoid evoking new age nightmares, before Guthrie's unmistakable chiming guitar makes a subdued entry. The music is so embracing you barely notice that nearly three minutes have elapsed before Fraser's incredible voice takes hold of proceedings and the song hits full stride.
Once you've been pulled in their is no escape. I cannot remember a time when I have consciously chosen to stop the album or just play the first track. The music drifts by at its own pace and it forces you to follow suit. Given how minimal the album is - being focused almost exclusively on Guthrie's guitar and Frasers's vocals, with only the occasional splash of percussion, sax or piano - it is remarkable how engaging a listening experience Victorialand actually is. It's just so warm and comforting it's as hard to leave as a warm bed on a cold early morning.
The album works beautifuly. It takes you to a special place and has a lovely fluidity about it. When the particularly gorgeous final song 'The Thinner the Air' suddenly closes in on itself you feel sad to be leaving the place the music has taken you, like you did as a kid when you had to leave the place you had just fallen in love with on some family holiday.
Victorialand is a wonderful album that strips down the Cocteau's sound to reveal a pure beauty unmatched on any of their other releases. Furthermore, if a better hangover cure exists I'm certainly not aware of it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ten Stars!, 21 April 2010
By 
Michael Mingins (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Victorialand (Audio CD)
I remember buying this album in June/July 1986 on vinyl and I still have it. This is absolutely superb, in fact I'm going to give it ten stars. The Cocteaus are brilliant as usual and Liz in fine form and Robin on guitar. Every song is perfect and I like every song on the album it is so unusual. I bought at the same time This Mortal Coil which unfortunately I sold years but I'm going to buy it again from Amazon. I was a big fan of the Cocteaus since the mid Eighties when I saw them on the Old Grey Whistle Test remember that singing Pearly Dew Drops Drops. After the outstandingly brilliant Treasure which sounded so different and nothing like anything else and then the same with Victorialand. I couldn't recommend it high enough.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wrong speed the first time...., 3 Sep 2013
By 
P. J. Sharp "Hill Top Man" (Marlow) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Victorialand (Vinyl)
I have to admit my embarrassment... Having just acquired this on vinyl, and not having heard it before, although being a big Cocteau fan - and owning the rest on vinyl already... I have just listened to side one thinking "my, Liz's voice is a bit deep on this track, and this, and this one too......" Stupidly I did not notice the little 45 on the label. Yes it is a 45rpm album. And I listened to the whole side on 33 rpm.
What I can say is, it sounds a million times better on 45! Very good album, up there with my personal favourite of Treasure - you can't go wrong here, if you already have a soft spot for the twins output. Well recommended.... On the right speed of course.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sheer Bliss, 31 May 2010
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This review is from: Victorialand (Audio CD)
This is a wonderful little album that showcases the sound of a truly unique band indulging their weird side for all that it's worth. The soundscapes are much sparser than on previous (and later) outings with little or no percussion on most of the tracks, but that just adds to the effect. The guitars sparkle, swoon and swirl with magic and Liz Frazer's achingly lovely vocals float on top of them like rays of light from a new-born star. Galaxies glow, undulate, fade to black and explode into life again. This is trippy stuff even by the standards of this trippiest of bands, and it sounds like nothing else in the world. Describing how the Cocteaus sound is like trying to explain the taste of ice cream to someone who's never eaten it; it's nigh-on impossible, and all the usual words like 'heavenly' and 'ethereal' that get thrown around so often with reference to them just don't do the sound justice. If you've never heard the band before then this probably isn't the best place to start (try 'Four Calendar Cafe' for something slightly more 'conventional' or 'Treasure' if you want to get a feel for the early stuff) but if you've already got those albums then you really should think about buying this one as well. Blissful stuff.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lazy Calm is worth the money on its own!, 19 Mar 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Victorialand (Audio CD)
A great album of soothing, totally individual music. The stand-out is Lazy Calm though, which, at some 6 minutes long, is uttely divine from end to end. Worth every penny of the CD price just for that alone - but there are other beauties on here too (Little Spacey is great for example).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars classic Cocteaus, 5 May 2011
This review is from: Victorialand (Audio CD)
Floaty, lovely, classic Cocteau Twins album.
Rediscovered after replacing an old cassette copy, and getting into all over again.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Difficult, yet divine Cocteau's album., 28 Mar 2003
By 
Jason Parkes "We're all Frankies'" (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Victorialand (Audio CD)
The title should give it all away- Victorialand a region in Antartica, something that you should never be able to put into words but there are a million words for- not all of them in a language simply understood. Victorialand is an initially difficult listen- certainly not as ecstatically instant as Treasure of Blue Bell Knoll. But persistence and late nite listens should change all that...
Following a period where Cocteau Twins began to sound like themselves (rather than an Associates/Banshees sounding band) where they produced such great releases as Pearly Dewdrops Drops, Treasure, Aikea Guinea & Love's Easy Tears, they decided to change their sound (though the acoustic elements of songs like Orange-Appled gave a clue). Stripped back to the original duo of Elizabeth Fraser & Robin Guthrie (Simon Raymonde was doing extensive work on the epic double album 'Filigree&Shadow' by This Mortal Coil), Victorialand is without the by now trademark drum machine sound & chiming infinite bells (most ably demonstrated on Gun Club's 'Breaking Hands', produced by Guthrie the same year as this). The duo are joined by Dif Juz's Richard Thomas- which alters their sound- the opening 'Lazy Calm' has almost a jazz-feel, prior to Fraser's heavenly vocals coming in: extremely distinctive & divine...
Victorialand is one of the most ambient of Cocteau Twins' releases, alongside the follow-up 'The Moon & the Melodies' (released under the 'Budd-Fraser-Guthrie-Raymonde'-moniker)- it is blissedout more than chilled out, the latter term much more a lazy marketing tool for slightly mellow lift muzak.
The songs?- well, the usual style of titles, almost vague- but not far from the language used in Joyce's 'Finnegans Wake': Feet-Like Fins, Oomingmak & How to Bring a Blush to the Snow (not quite up to the peak of their titles, such as Ella Megalast Burls Forever or The Itchy-Glowbo Blow). Throughout the Dark Months of April and May is another highlight, fitting into that perfect soundscape evident on other such 80s releases as 'Ambient 4: On Land','Sulk', 'Burning Blue Soul', 'A/Z' ,'Spirit of Eden' & parts of AR Kane's 'I'.
Victorialand may lack the epic alien pop sound of albums like Treasure, Blue Bell Knoll & Heaven or Las Vegas, but it certainly remains a joy- which once penetrated is not easily shaken off. The remastering brings out this, probably the most subtle of Cocteau Twins releases & the cover by 23 Envelope is amazing (really, they ought to release these for the public to buy- I love the idea of someone having a Cocteau Twins cover for their room, but not necessarily knowing who they were!). Anyone who enjoys recent music by Sigur Ros, Low, Francoiz Breut, Yu-Ra, Violet Indiana- many of the latter found on Simon Raymonde's Bella-Union label (see 'At Least You Can Die with a Smile on Your Face) should adore this reissue. Words just aren't enough...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dreamy dreamy dreamy bliss aaahhhhhhh, 10 April 2010
This review is from: Victorialand (Audio CD)
This is in the Cocteau's Twins top 3 albums In fact I am listening to it right now so if I go off in a dreamy surreal warble than forgive me as its hard to be serious when covered in sterophonic duvet aaahhhh.
But on a serious side if you are new to the Cocteau Twins and you already own Heaven or Las Vagas and Tresure then this must be your next buy. This album goes from one trip of musical bliss to another. The track Lazy calm is one of the greatest songs ever written, thats if it was ever written and not just dreamt up in a world of dreamy dreamy dreams aahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh good night.
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Victorialand
Victorialand by Cocteau Twins (Audio CD - 2003)
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