Saturday, April 13, 2013

Why Tiny Dynamine/Echoes in A Shallow Bay?

Why are the Cocteau Twins' EPs, released simultaneously in 1985 (I bought them in London's Virgin Record store the day they came out), Tiny Dynamine and Echoes in A Shallow Bay my ninth favorite album(s) of all-time? (They were re-released together, as they should've been, on one CD a few years later.)

Elizabeth Frazier's vocal acrobatics.

Robin Guthrie's propensity for using Major Seventh chords.

Robin Guthrie's heavily treated and layered guitars.

Simon Raymonde's awesome rolling bass lines.

The drum machine's are still prominent. (Treasure was their best album for drum sounds; these two run a close second. The following albums place the tinnier drums far back in the mix.)

Did I mention Elizabeth Frazier's vocal acrobatics? I don't think I've ever heard another vocalist with the range, stylings, vision, and 'lyrical content' of Elizabeth. Incomparable. Perhaps even inimitable.

My favorite Cocteau Twins song of all-time, "Pink Orange Red." Slow rolling bass, slow reverberated programmed drums, slow heavily reverbed guitar strums, amazing lead guitar work, all mixed with Elizabeth's simple but INCREDIBLE melodies. The 45 second long guitar solo--simple but gorgeous over the changing guitar strums in the background, followed by Elizabeth's operatic vocal callisthenics during the final 40 seconds--astounding! (11/10)

One of my favorite instrumentals and guitar solos of all-time, "Ribbed and Veined." (Great title!) Again, the amazing gift that Simon Raymonde brings to the group is wonderful. Plus, programmed drums were never used so beautifully and so effectively. Definitely guitar, piano, bass, and drum sounds that my brothers and I tried to get out of our instruments. (10/10)

The gorgeous 'A' part of "Sultitan Itan" sublimely smooth bass guitar, great guitar chords from Robin, and more layers of incredibly inimitable vocal work from Elizabeth. (10/10)

Elizabeth's amazingly creative vocal work on "Great Spangled Fritillary." Awesome last minute! (8/10)

Robin's crazily psychedelic lead guitar work on "Pale Clouded White." (9/10)

Robin and Elizabeth taking us out as only they can with "Eggs and Their Shells." Beautiful. (9/10)

Sublime, timeless work from creative geniuses at the early peak of their powers.

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