Cocteau Twins: Treasure

July 12, 2010

Today’s roll: 1 – 5 – 19.
Treasure by Cocteau Twins.

Upon rolling the bones, I realized it’s been ages since I’ve listened to a Cocteau Twins album and it struck me that I might actually be done with them. Which is a little sad since they’re one of my all-time favourite bands. They’re sort of a security blanket held over from my quasi-goth youth I keep around to wrap myself in whenever I need something to pick me up and send me soaring into the stratosphere. But I now feel could live quite happily never hearing their painfully beautiful, shimmering, icing-slathered music ever again.

As I listen to it now, I even feel a slight anxiety. As if the music is going to slink down my ear canals like rivulets of mercury and give my teeth cavities or perhaps I’ll conflagrate from the sheer ecstasy of it all. Maybe I simply still adore Cocteau Twins’ music too much. This feeling of anxiety isn’t helped by the fact I’m listening to one of their best, Treasure.

Those wishing to dip their toe in the mirror pool of Robin Guthrie and Elizabeth Frazer‘s music might find themselves unsure where to start. They’d do well with almost any of their nine albums, but the third album, Treasure, is widely considered the Twins masterpiece. And for good reason.

Treasure highlights all of the band’s strengths. By this time, Guthrie had perfected his unique sparkling guitar sound and Frazer had likewise honed her unparalleled vocal styles to a gossamer thin edge. Guthrie weaves waves of silk for Frazer to sprinkle her cherubic, yet unintelligible, pearls upon. It’s one of those pop music miracles that two spectacularly unique and complementary talents would converge to create such achingly idyllic music.

But besides the Twins coming into their own here, the album also boasts a warm intesity—mind you, a very languid intensity—which their other albums tend to eschew in favour of an icy fragility. Guthrie’s guitar is crystalline as ever, but you can feel behind it a fire somewhat missing from later albums. The result is an enchanting, otherworldly experience.

Treasure simply is just what the title claims it is—a treasure.

Originally posted at Simply Read.


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