Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Sunburst & Snowblind
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop
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J. Ibarra | Chicago | 04/27/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's funny, I got this import for $3.25 at some used record store.Anyhoo Rufus, I highly recommend this little treasure. Only a couple of tracks, but it is highly worth it. There is a slightly different version of Sugar Hiccup in this one oppose to the one of Head over Heels, there is somekind of backing vocals or it could just be a reverb effect. The last track is very jumpy, but also very memorable.Have fun with this release.~Adios."
Three perfect Cocteau Twins songs, plus one bonus
bornjaded | Florida | 09/29/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"No band has ever hit my auditory G-spot as often and as intensely as Cocteau Twins. Liz Fraser's mostly incomprehensible lyrics are like coded secrets, baring the essence of their feeling without showing their face (as one who is loved for one's soul rather than for one's body). People who can only listen to pop songs with vocals may not respond well to the Cocteau Twins, each of whose songs is -- in the manner of a traditional pop song, I guess -- a unique and stand-alone work, but whose songs toss their texts back to the realm of the purely musical, of the unlingual. In that respect, the lyrics do not treat the instrumentation as a background/backdrop, but rather, everything becomes homogonous. Which isn't to say that Fraser's vocals don't stand out. They do, but like an ethereal voice calling from the distance, perhaps from a cloud whose nighttime sky renders it barely visible.
On that same token, this literal obscurity turns the vocals and lyrics into a blank canvas. The songs can never become completely familiar. They retain an indelible aura of mystery and inaccessibility. They're better than orgasm, because there's no release from them. Ever hear a song, somewhere, without knowing the lyrics, and you think the singer's singing a particular phrase -- a phrase you find appealing -- only to find the actual lyrics and realize you heard incorrectly? Ever feel disappointed by this, knowing that the phrase you thought was being sung is more resonant than what is actually sung? The songs of Cocteau Twins are the solution to that quandary.
Why have I chosen to write these comments specifically for the 'Sunburst and Snowblind' EP? Well, it was an arbitrary choice -- they had to go somewhere, if anywhere at all -- but this EP represents, as well as any, that the singles and EPs of the Cocteau Twins were no throwaways; this music was as good as anything on any of their albums, making the 10-disc Cocteau Twins Singles Box a must-own for anyone else carried away by this music.
'Sunburst and Snowblind' contains three of the band's most haunting numbers. There's a reworked 'Sugar Hiccup,' sounding exciting and sweetly violent as ever; there's the urgent-sounding 'Hitherto,' which starts as though amidst a condition that's both tragic and prosaic -- it's brooding slice-of-life; and then there's 'From the Flagstones,' whose lyrics are shockingly lucid and intelligible, with perhaps every word sung entirely comprehensible. But this is not detrimental to the song in any way. Rather, it is possibly Cocteau Twins' most affecting love song, a dreamy call with a grand emotional scope and depth. Fraser limits the song to a handful of phrases whose strangeness creates a fragile resonance and power.
The fourth song here is something called "Because of Whirljack," and its inclusion is a mystery to me. It hardly sounds like Cocteau Twins, and it's one of the only Cocteau Twins songs that sounds dated. It sounds like weak Smiths, with Fraser's vocals skirting ever so close to the Siouxsie Sioux comparison that's haunted her throughout her presence in critical discussions of her style. But worst of all, its melody and Fraser's interpretation of it made me think of Stevie Nicks.
But three out of four ain't bad, surely, and in the case of 'Sunburst and Snowblind,' it's a privilege.
Remix, left-overs, and transitional songs.
Cody C. Gaisser | Nashville, Tennessee, USA | 02/08/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Sunburst And Snowblind is an EP that followed shortly after Cocteau Twins' breakthrough second album Head Over Heels, and reprises the highlight "Sugar Hiccup" from that album in an extended re-recorded version. The EP version is very similar. There are extra vocals, the fake choir effect is more prominent in the mix, and it sounds as if it might be slightly faster. It isn't really much of an improvement, but it is interesting to hear such an amazing song in an alternate form. "From The Flagstones" introduces bluesy inflections to Elizabeth Fraser's bag of tricks, a technique she will utilize later to great effect on her cover of Tim Buckley's "Song To The Siren" with This Mortal Coil. "Hitherto" streamlines the excesses of Head Over Heels and points the way toward the band's future. Fraser's vocals are even more lucid and expressive here than ever before, but the song itself isn't as memorable as the tracks from the full length albums that bookend this EP. "Because of Whirl-Jack" is a slight retread of their goth roots, but with bluesier vocals and a more gossamer sound overall, provided by Guthrie's acoustic guitars. This is an enjoyable but slight affair that serves as a stepping stone into the creative apex of Treasure."