Menu | Rating System | Guest Book | Archived Reviews:
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

  Dark Treasures: A Gothic Tribute to the Cocteau Twins  
  Various Artists  
Release Date:
Reviewed by:

So what exactly is the process whereby one of these "tribute albums" is recorded? Does the artist being tributized have any say in this matter?

If so, i must ask, What the heck were Cocteau Twins thinking? Do Simon and Robin need money so badly that they could endorse this lifeless collection of covers of their music? Did they think it was funny? (Actually, i can see that second option....)

As with anything of this nature, fans will wonder -- why the heck is THIS song covered, and not my favorite? This compilation is very heavy on really early Twins (Garlands-era, or, back when they were often compared to goth stalwarts Siouxsie and the Banshees) and late Twins, specifically their final album Milk and Kisses. Which makes it seem as if not many of the bands are even fans of the group that they are covering.

Anyway, there are a few shining moments on the CD:

  • Garlands by The Autumns. Their version ROCKS. And they have no concern for the "authenticity" of their cover -- the male vocalist just sings what is kinda right, while the guitars whir, buzz, and feedback around him.
  • The Thinner The Air by Trance to the Sun. This version is done a la Sisters of Mercy in that overblown mid-80's goth style. Beautifully cheesey with overpowering keyboards!
  • Wax and Wane by Fear of Dolls. They slow the track way down and add some primal drumming. It makes a really neat effect, and at least they are trying to do something with the song!

Unfortunately, for me, that's it on the CD. Everything else is pretty much a dismal failure.

Except for one song which falls in between the Good and the Dismal on this CD, and is therefore noteworthy. That song is Violane by Andrea Lane. For the most part, this is done as a straight Dub version. You know, that weird echo laid over everything. The drum hits that linger for minutes. A vague ganga scent even seeps from the speakers. Really nice.... and then the song just goes beserk with those fruity "girl goth" vocals. You know, where she is just singing high pitched notes and not making any words, like she's doing Opera or something. It really comes out of nowhere and ruins the track. It was pretty cool as straight dub, but oh well.

So, here is what i have learned from listening to this CD:

  1. No one has any idea what Liz Fraser is saying, and no two interpretations are identical. The words that i sing along with Liz rarely agree with the words that the various vocalists on this CD are singing! I guess that Liz is really like a Rorshach Ink Blot Test -- it's just a lovely mess that everyone interprets as suiting what their own subconscious needs project. Hmmm....
  2. Apparently, Robin Guthrie's guitarwork is so complicated that other people have to slow it down to play it. The versions of Wax and Wane and Treasure Hiding on this CD are noticeably slower, and most of the other tracks seem a little slower.
  3. If i ever become musically proficient enough to cover Cocteau Twins, i won't. I promise. No really. It's just one of those things -- it's better left alone.
  4. There are two types of covers -- those done by musicians who take a song and make it their own (Fear Of Dolls, The Autumns), and then there are those covers wherein a band takes a song it likes and simply does it again. In the second case, they might change this instrumentation where necessary, but they try to be as faithful as possible given their context. I like the first type of covers. Most of this CD consists of the second type of covers.

My final verdict -- Cocteau Twins' fans will want the CD just for humour value, but everyone else should avoid at all costs!

Related Links:
  None available.  

Return to the top of this page. | Return to the Album Review menu.