10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Exquisite stuff, baby bear,
This review is from: Heaven Or Las Vegas (Audio CD)
I love the Cocteau Twins. A dynamic duo comprising Robin Guthrie on guitar and assorted noises, and Liz Fraser on vocals and assorted lyrical nonsensicals. They are creators of a kind of musical utopia that you can enter by listening to their songs. And as you listen you begin to craft your own imagery and meaning to their work. The sound of pearly dewdrops' drops falling to the ground on a misty September morning. A lazy calm as a flower unfolds itself to capture the summer sunlight. Lyrics that tantalize you with half-heard phrases that defy interpretation - perhaps they can only be understood in a dream. They provide the soundtrack to your imagination.
All their best songs provide a glorious cacophony; a guitar-based wall of sound gently colliding with a perfectly tuned voice that sweeps you to a place of perfect contentment or emotional ecstasy. 'Heaven or Las Vegas' is a great introduction to the musical delights of the Cocteau Twins. The opening track, 'Cherry-coloured funk' is a perfect example of the Cocteau Twins style. It just exudes coolness. Liz effects a deep, sultry voice that purrs with contentment and then slowly her voice rises to a glorious crescendo to match the chiming guitars. Just gorgeous.
`Iceblink Luck' takes the Smiths' `The Boy with the Thorn in his side' riff apart and reassembles it into something far more urgent. Liz infuses her voice with an added fizz of emotion to match the music and launches into a near-rant about tearing down a madhouse and burning down the Walls of Jericho. It's all, as Liz sings (I think) 'exquisite stuff'.
The title track, 'Heaven or Las Vegas' is positively anthemic. A plethora of guitars and thumping drums conjure up a vast, endless landscape and coming into view is Vegas simmering in the Nevada desert. Liz describes it as looking `brighter than the sun is to me'. More like heaven than a dusty, desert town. This reminds me of Talking Heads' `Big Country' which uses similar sweeping guitars to convey the immensity of the American landscape. The last verse that begins (or at least *sounds like* it begins), `Baby bear, I'd love to see you ...' gets my spine tingling every time. Play loud, very loud.
In summary, there is no polemic or treatise here to mull over, just pure unadulterated pleasure at the music that this band have created that still sounds good even after over twenty years of playing. It's not rock `n' roll but neither is it meaningless ambient trance. It's a timeless, sometimes achingly beautiful and life-affirming musical delight.