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
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
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!