Prototypical shoegazers and dreampoppers extraordinaire Cocteau Twins are ever-relevant in today's shoegaze revival. This 4 CD box-set contains remastered versions (approved by Robin Guthrie himself) of the band's last two albums: 1991’s Four Calendar Cafe and 1996’s Milk & Kisses. Also included are one and a half disc of B-sides and rarities, and half a disc of live recordings.
CD box set £22.99 5771558
4CD box set on Mercury. Mastered at Abbey Road from the original tapes and approved by Robin Guthrie.
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9/10 The Doc 15th October 2018
Over the course of sixteen years or so, the Cocteaus made more great music than you can shake a shitty stick at, and virtually every note of it is worth hearing. This constant repackaging and reissuing of endless comps from their catalogue is getting a little tiresome for me now, but here's another set for those of you who may not have heard them before. For me Milk and Kisses is the only one of their records that you can do without - they were really going through the motions by that point and you can tell when you hear it why they called it a day when they did. Four Calendar Café is a different animal altogether though, a real highlight among their many high points. Spawned from a backdrop of smack addiction and an in-house breakup, it's a gorgeous, swirling, candycane dream of an album, most notable for the fact that Liz Fraser is singing actual, proper, discernible lyrics for the first time, those heavenly, multi-layered vocals as choral and symphonic as ever. It's funny now when there's so much stuff like this around to think what an utterly original proposition they were once upon a time - it's just taken the rest of the world twenty years to catch up. This has to be worth 9/10 for Four Calendar Café alone, and it'd be an ideal starting point for anyone who's always been curious about them but is put off by the weirdness. If you want a proper primer though, I'd try to rustle up Volume 1 of Lullabies To Violaine instead.
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