6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
The Most Compelling Comilation Ever Made!,
This review is from: The Frozen Borderline: 1968-1970 (International Release) (Audio CD)
The Frozen Borderline is a combination of two of Nico's three masterpieces, The Marble Index and Desertshore and the only crime of this album is that The End is not also included. However, The End is about to get a decent remastering itself, so it's all good. If you want a good idea of Nico's sound, this is the best record to get as it contains her most avante garde (Marble Index) and her most acessible (Desertshore)albums, plus extras. For The Marble Index we get four tracks origionally left off of the release, which was certainly a crime. Roses in The Snow and Nibulungen are prime examples of this.
The other extras are all demos of Nico's songs, featuring her trademark harmonium and brings new light to most songs, particularly the softer ballads like Afraid and My Only Child. And since this whole collection is roundabout the same price as just one of these albums alone, it is definately worth it even if you end up despising the music.
I would also ignore all the comments about Nico simply droning along in a flat monotone. Those people clearly listened only to the first track on Marble Index (Lawns of Dawns) couldn't bare anymore and judged that that was all Nico could do. Had they continued listening, they would have heard Nico's soaring vocals on No One Is There and the tender emotion of My Only Child. There is also the stunning vocal performance and Janitor of Lunacy, where Nico conjours up the arcane world with her voice combined with that harmonium and Cale's instrumentations. Afraid also proves that Nico is capable of some beautiful lyrics and can express them with touching emotion.
The Music itself is quite minimalistic, especially on Desertshore which is what makes it more accessible. The Marble Index is still sparse, but filled with dark, harrowing instrumentation courtesy of strings, hammering piano and chiming guitars. The most musically effective track is Evening Of Light, which has chills down my spine from start to finish and the track that gives this compilation its name, Frozen Warnings, is one of Nico's best.
Overall this is just a beautiful collection of two beautiful albums that is easy to listen to so long as you have an adventurous mind when it comes to music. If your the sort of person who likes to hear music in the background or to set the scene, this isn't for you. If you are the sort that likes to immerse yourself in the music then this is for you, because Nico's work demands attention. In return it transports the listener into a realm of sublime dreams, espcecially if you listen to it on a winter evening in the dark, eyes closed. It is an amazing journey and I would reccomended to anyone interested in real art when it comes to music.