Original Issue: 1986 4AD (CAD 602) Buy it here!!!
Margot-meter: 5 moons / 5
Don't be put-off by the 4AD tag...this is great (and very sensual) musick!
Simply perfect for making love (hey, I mean LOVE, not SEX...OK?)
1. Lazy Calm
2. Fluffy Tufts
3. Throughout The Dark Months Of April And May
4. Whales Tails
6. Little Spacey
7. Feet-like Fins
8. How To Bring A Blush To The Snow
9. The Thinner The Air
The group temporarily didn't have their regular bass player. So, they decide to make their new album by replacing him with a guy playing Saxophone and Tablas. Hence, this calm and otherworldly 'Victorialand' record.
Yeah, Cocteau Twins retreat from any semblance of 'rock music' to create something altogether more original instead. Liz beautifully wails over the top of relaxing music created by some means that seems impossible. Music from the heavens and all the other cliches that record critics have sent in Cocteau Twins directions throughout the years. Maybe there's a reason for that, however. Perhaps 'Victorialand' is a big part of that reason.
The near seven minute long 'Lazy Calm', for instance. Aptly named as it, well, lazily yet lovingly ebbs into view like a tide caressing in and out, some moonlit night. No, really! 'Fluffy Tufts' just carries on from this, although the vocals of Liz are more prominent here, she switches from the softer cooing to the high pitched wailing ( and I mean that in a nice way ) and sings over the top of herself in the meantime. Layered vocals over delicate and such beautiful music. Nothing at all resembling rock music, remember? 'Throughout The Dark Months Of April And May' sees a guitar pluck and strum. It sees lots of echo and a few other subtle things to create a fairly bare musical landscape. It brings up images of ice, a sun stretching out over that ice. The song title and feel of the music suggest the coming of spring - throughout the bleak icy landscape is a little greenery here and there breaking through. Flowing water melting through the snow some other place in this imaginary landscape that the feel of the song suggests. Appropriately, later on we get a song titled 'How To Bring A Blush To The Snow'. Another song titled 'The Thinner The Air' - yep folks, we're floating here. 'Throughout The Dark Months Of April And May' is so very beautiful, the vocal truly does float. Well, I apologise for not coming up with any more imaginative description. All the while all these things are going on and the likes of 'Whales Tails' does indeed evoke deep oceans and those most beautiful of creatures - we have Elizabeth Frazier not sounding like anything else in the entire known universe. She may as well be communicating with Whales, perhaps that's their language?
This album creates entirely its own universe and reminds you of nothing else concrete with which to compare it too. Arriving after the stellar 'Treasure', 'Victorialand' cemented The Cocteau Twins reputation and style, forever. They'd vary themselves to an extent, of course - but think of Cocteau Twins and some combination of these two albums spring to mind. Ah, the sheer glory and loveliness of 'Little Spacey' is unsurpassed. The lightness and delicate nature of this music combined with the airy, soaring and delicate ( yet still strong ) vocals combines to form a distinctive sound. It's an album to bring beauty into your life, it's an album to put on late at night and drift off to, with a smile on your face.