Top positive review
7 people found this helpful
on 28 December 2011
It costs a small fortune, but it provides immense joy.
Ivo Watts-Russell finally reissues the whole output of This Mortal Coil, the 4AD covers project he masterminded between 1983 and 1992, during the label's 80s-defining halcyon days.
TMC comprised, at various stages, members of Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance, Pixies and Throwing Muses, as well as other non-4AD acts such as Shelleyan Orphan, Breathless and Cindytalk, to name but a few. It was an odd ensemble for the post-punk era, but an effective one.
The reissue comes in a glinting, Pallas Citroën-adorned brown box that contains four discs, three official albums plus a fourh cd that works as a singles compilaton and abode for stray, rare tracks.
The music is faultlessly remastered (not too loud, crisp and balanced), while the cds are housed in delicious gatefolds with booklet, inner sleeve and an extra soft plastic jacket that enables you to remove and replace the discs with extreme ease. Elegant and user-friendly, just what was needed.
But what of the artistic value of this "band"? Well, if "It'll End In Tears" (1984) is the aquatic classic that put them on the map, subsequent releases should not be underestimated. "Filigree And Shadow" (1986) expands the 60s / 70s palette of intimate songs adding a new rhythmical slant with martial beats and a white-funk sensibility (their cover of "Drugs" by Talking Heads). "Blood" (1991) is often neglected but equally fascinating; more downbeat, in parts it even predates the trip-hop trend by nearly a lustre, a clear sign that Ivo and friends were not sleeping on their well-deserved laurels.
This Mortal Coil thus emerge from this box as a timeless entity. They will conquer you slowly with that ebb and flow of songs and soundscapes, yet their power will turn out to be lasting. After nearly thirty years, they have certainly passed their litmus test.
Ivo's dream of art and song has now come full circle.