This is the third album by Scottish Ethereal Dream Poppers Cocteau Twins. This is the album which capitalized them within a wider audience, with more radio friendly songs and assessable instrumentation they managed to find success with the fixed line up.
So What we have is an album filled with dark, eerie songs, with a huge emphasis on vocal work and a reverbed drum machine. The Acoustic guitar work that flows through the album is so minimal it only helps push the songs forward. Everything is carefully mixed, the production, double tracking and effects have been taken care of perfectly.
Ivo is the song that starts the album, it's named after the 4AD owner, Ivo Watts. The song is very dark, it has a great focus on high pitched vocals and an acoustic guitar which works well with the driving distorted bass and synths.
The following track, Lorelei, is just as powerful. It has a great looped riff played with the background drum machine that works well with Cocteau Twins Dream Pop style. reverb hasn't been over used on any instrument. The use of delay is clear in most places.
As the album progresses, the songs follow a similar pattern. Hard hitting drum beats with energetic bass and soft, Ambient like soundscapes. It's magnificent to hear, it's certainly a dark album and has it's moments of pure glory, such as on Persephone. Here we see some completely crazy lyrics and emotive vocals by singer Elizabeth Frazer. The effect driven guitar loop fits well in this song, which you can hear in several segments as the song progresses. Although it's very dark, the song, much alike the whole album manages to feel complete and filled.
Amelia is one of the strongest tracks. it has the Frazer vocal work which sounds beautiful although you have no idea what she's saying. She's using her voice as an instrument here, this i like. I like listening to this kind of material because it gives the band something which puts them ahead of others.
The final track, Domino, is my personal pick for the album. It's fresh and very Gothic. The low driven synthesizer works with the vocals and sampled vocals used to grip the listener. Ambient like noises then enter with Frazer delivering a very clear vocal which is by far her best for this album. The kick in is magnificent, the synth and the bass leas the track with the Phil Spector esque Electronic drums. Some lovely reversed reverb is used on this track which is refreshing as this album doesn't have a huge Electric guitar presence at times.