Wednesday, December 26, 2018

"Heaven or Las Vegas" by Cocteau Twins (150 Albums by Women #138)

NPR compiled a list of the 150 greatest albums created by women. I've decided to listen to these albums, from #150 all the way up to #1. But to give myself a bit of forward momentum and have a sense of when I was "done" with each album, my method is to listen to the album one time all the way through, then with each subsequent listen, I'd remove my least favorite. This lets me listen to the best ones most frequently without having to sit through too many that didn't work for me at all.

I've never really listened to Cocteau Twins before, but this album has such a fascinating sound to it. The blurb on the NPR piece talked about their use of the vocals as an instrument rather than a standout piece, and that's absolutely correct. The lyrics are incomprehensible in nearly every song but that doesn't matter at all, since the emphasis is all on the auditory experience rather than any textual meaning. These songs are all interesting to listen to but they sort of blend together into one giant soundscape, so I'm not sure I can say anything about these songs individually. By the time I got to the top five I had JUST started being able to separate them out from each other, but these top five all have elements that I find sonically interesting. So, in a break from my typical style, I'm not giving comments and will just list my top five, since they're all good but blur together in my mind.

5. Fotzepolitic

4. Heaven or Las Vegas

3. Iceblink Luck

2. I Wear Your Ring

1. Frou-frou Foxes in Midsummer Fires

The albums I've listened to thus far in this project, in order:
  1. The Roches - The Roches
  2. Robyn - Body Talk
  3. Norah Jones - Come Away With Me
  4. The Breeders - Last Splash
  5. Patty Griffin - Flaming Red
  6. Iris Dement - My Life
  7. Cocteau Twins - Heaven or Las Vegas
  8. Alicia Keys - Songs in A Minor
  9. The Bangles - All Over the Place
  10. Oumou Sangaré - Moussolou
  11. Terri Lyne Carrington - The Mosaic Project