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Garlands

Garlands

10 Feb 2003
4.2 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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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Format: 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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By A Customer on 12 Jun. 2005
Format: 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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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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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Format: 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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Format: 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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By A Customer on 19 Mar. 2004
Format: 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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