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Customer Review

VINE VOICEon 12 July 2005
La Maison De Mon Rêve is one of these records that you either love or hate. Nothing can really prepare for the dilettante approach adopted by CocoRosie here, and the decidedly amateurish finish of a record that has far more to offer than can be appreciated at first. If the term lo-fi needed to be defined, it would be by this album.
Although she trained as an opera singer in high school, and despite receiving praises from the world of classical music, Sierra Casady, who had began singing gospel and spirituals as a child, wanted more than just belting out pieces written by others. Composing new classical material while performing is not always seen very well in the sometimes precious world of classical music, and Sierra decided that what she was looking for was to be found somewhere else. Equally, Bianca spent years trying to find a way to express herself, finally ending up in Paris with just her sister's phone number in hand. After leading completely different lives for some time, Sierra and Bianca were reunited through music. It was only a matter of time before the pair started playing together.
Recorded during the spring and summer of last year in a tiny Parisian flat, this album is far more colourful and, in part, disturbing, than it's innocent title, which translates as 'the house in my dream', would lead to think. La Maison De Mon Rêve resounds to the sound of blues, gospel, early jazz and folk, yet everything here appears deceptively simple and childish. The density of CocoRosie's songs is the fruit of the chemistry that exists between the two sisters. The melodies have the kind of innocence and sweetness of little girls' playground songs, the guitar lines are almost too plain to be taken seriously, and the approximative beats and noises found scattered here and there only accentuate the amateurish feel of this record. Yet, it would be easy to dismiss this collection of poetic blues/folk for something totally unsubstantial. Between Vanessa Paradis and Billie Holliday, Nina Simone and Maria Callas, the sisters' voices whirlwind around each other, play hide and seek, tease, twist the mood and destabilising. CocoRosie's lyrics are as perverse as they appear innocent on the surface, with tortuous tales of love, faith, devotion or sex splattered all over By Your Side, Jesus Loves Me, Tahiti Rain Song or Lyla, and it rapidly becomes difficult to resist their little universe becoming yours, if only for a moment.
This album sometimes proves difficult to sustain, even over forty minutes. CocoRosie haven't made things easy for themselves here, crafting a strange and disconcerting record out of almost nothing. La Maison De Mon Rêve can only be appreciated under certain circumstances, preferably when the mind is relaxed and slightly out of focus. When the mood is right though, it becomes precious and reveals its hidden beauties. If just for these moments, this album is simply splendid.
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