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Lullabies to Violaine: Singles & Extended Plays 2
Cocteau Twins
Lullabies to Violaine: Singles & Extended Plays 2
Genres: Alternative Rock, World Music, Pop, Rock
 
  •  Track Listings (27) - Disc #1

Cocteau Twins have proven to be one of the most prolific bands in modern music. This 2 CD Set breaks down the songs on the boxset version of Lullabies to Violaine. 4AD. 2006.

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Cocteau Twins
Title: Lullabies to Violaine: Singles & Extended Plays 2
Members Wishing: 7
Total Copies: 0
Label: 4ad / Ada
Original Release Date: 1/1/2006
Re-Release Date: 3/21/2006
Genres: Alternative Rock, World Music, Pop, Rock
Styles: Hardcore & Punk, Indie & Lo-Fi, New Wave & Post-Punk, Europe, British Isles
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPCs: 652637251425, 4943674076833

Synopsis

Album Description
Cocteau Twins have proven to be one of the most prolific bands in modern music. This 2 CD Set breaks down the songs on the boxset version of Lullabies to Violaine. 4AD. 2006.
 

CD Reviews

Twilight Brilliance
Steven K. de la Vaux | Atlanta, Georgia | 04/01/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The cracks and fissures were beginning to appear...leaving 4AD, relationship problems between band members, record label problems with Mercury / Fontana...resulted in the most personal Cocteau Twins album in their career, "Four Calendar Cafe" released in 1993.

The period 1993 - 1996, the end of the collective known as Cocteau Twins - Robin Guthrie, Simon Raymonde, Elizabeth Fraser - was characterized by two albums and a bunch of largely forgotten b-sides that were, at the time, largely dismissed by music critics and many fans alike as a period where the creative fire dimensioned.

Lullabies to Violaine: Singles & Extended Plays 2 collects all of the b-sides and EPs from this period on two discs, and allows the listener a chance to hear, maybe for the first time, these tracks, and make up their own mind.

There are some gems here...."Three Swept" a b-side on the "Bluebeard" single is gorgeous and romantic; "Smile" a b-side on (one of the) "Tishbite" singles has a joyous baseline, and "Primitive Heart" in it's simplicity and emotion is quite frankly one of the best Cocteau Twins songs ever written.

This compilation of b-sides and EPs from this period represented a tumultuous period in the bands history, but the music that came out was still magic."
In a word, it's... cool.
svf | 04/12/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The Cocteau Twins were one of those mysterious bands that the really cool kids in High School were into. You know, the ones with lots of black clothing, complicated footwear, hip hairdos, and surprisingly easy access to mind-altering substances. In other words, not me.

In spite of this, I once unwittingly ended up with a Cocteau Twins album of sorts called The Moon and the Melodies via my obsession with the rather uncool music of Harold Budd. I didn't realize it at the time, though, since that record was credited to Mr. Budd with "Simon Raymonde / Robin Guthrie / Elizabeth Fraser" and I was way too uncool to realize that those three people were actually the Cocteau Twins.

I continue to grow older and more uncool each day, but I nevertheless decided to pick up Lullabies to Violaine -- a four CD retrospective of singles and other "non-album" tracks by this band from 1982's Lullabies to, well, Violaine in 1996. (It's available as either two double-CD sets or as a "limited edition" four-CD set with the same track listing and strange shiny rubbery packaging they call "Curious Soft Touch Milk" for some reason...)

Knowing that the Cocteau twins are considered one of the original and definitive "dream / ambient pop" bands, I was more than a little surprised (and somewhat annoyed) by the first six tracks on disc one -- "Lullabies" is not a title I would have chosen for these dissonant, distorted, agitated electro-punk tunes.

When "Sugar Hiccup" (there's a great title!) arrives, however, the clouds part and the Cocteau Twins hit on what would be their signature sound going forward. You soon find out why the adjectives "ethereal," "blissful," "dreamy," and "atmospheric" are always used to describe their music: massively echoed, reverbed, and chorused layers of pulsing guitars and synthesizers... unintelligible sweeping soprano vocals... piles of major 7th chords... and, so the kids can dance to it all, a steady drum machine beat.

Over time, the Cocteau Twins tinker with this appealing formula without straying too far from it. But sometimes this stuff is too saccharine and radiant for its own good, sounding a little too much like the ideal soundtrack to a Volkswagen commercial or something. Also, while it's nice to understand the words Elizabeth Fraser is singing for a change, these versions of "Winter Wonderland" and "Frosty the Snowman" just sound really silly.

Otherwise, there is plenty of genuinely sublime music to be heard throughout this collection, including several great tracks from the band's often dismissed and maligned later years. I especially enjoy it when they turn the drum machine down (or off) and let the music and vocals expand and breathe a little more. The alternate "acoustic versions" of some songs are also a welcome inclusion, allowing you to better appreciate the unique sound of this band without all the layers of production and processing.

So whether you're a die-hard fan needing to round out your collection or a newcomer looking to take the plunge into the Cocteau Twins ocean, Lullabies to Violaine is an ideal (and affordable) way to do it.

In a word, it's... cool."
Really Beautiful
LHB | Dallas, TX | 04/06/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I've never been a Cocteau Twins fanatic, but this collection and V. 1 could change my mind. To my ears, the Twins were at their very best on their singles and toward the end of their career. Liz Frazer's voice was sweeter, the songs less "cutesy" and more beautiful, and they could throw up a beautiful wall of sound when they wanted to. Cherry Colored Funk, Round, An Elan and the second version of Violane are especially stunning in this collection, but I wouldn't want to be without a single disc in either of the two volumes. Even if you've always had a bit of a problem with the Twins you ought to check this out. There's some incredible stuff that I wouldn't want to live without here. I should add that the sound quality is some of the most incredible I've ever heard on a popular music disc, and beats their album remasters in terms of depth, spread and especially textural beauty (and there's a LOT of that here). At the asking price, this and V. 1 are about the best bargains going."