"Cocteau Twins guitarist Robin Guthrie and vocalist Siobhan de Mare have teamed up to create Roulette, an album that, for the caliber of the people who made it, doesn't really impress me that much.Guthrie's trademark swirling, dreamy guitar work is here in full force, while de Mare's vocals are passionate and immediate. When the combination of the two works, it really works well, as on the loungey opening track, "Air Kissing," with its brushed drums and simple guitar, and "Busted," a track that really evokes memories of Cocteau Twins, complete with the trademark wall of shimmering guitar sound and multitracked vocals.However, as the album progresses, it really doesn't live up to those opening tracks. De Mare performs these songs well for the most part (aside from one moment on "Angel" where she's horribly out of tune, but I think that's deliberate), but as the disc goes on, her lyrics become very clichéd, and her voice actually becomes a bit tiring to listen to. Guthrie, meanwhile, starts to sound pretty similar as well - his production doesn't vary much from track to track, and song 7, "Poison Gorgeous," sounds much the same as "Busted." Before the CD ends, it just sounds like the duo have run out of ideas. On the plus side, though, Roulette includes a bonus video of a song previously released on their Choke EP, "Purr La Perla." Both the video and song are excellent, and they make a worthwhile inclusion.In the end, there's nothing really _bad_ about this CD. It's just not all that innovative, and gets very repetitive when sitting through all the tracks. Listen to just a few selections at once to get the most enjoyment out of this one."
An elegantly crafted, melodic debut
Erica Anderson | Minneapolis, MN | 06/03/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I was quite interested in hearing what Mono's Siobhan De Mare and Cocteau Twins' Rubin Guthrie's new project Violet Indiana was like. Was it going to be a blatant [take on] of Mono or Cocteau Twins? Well, it turned out that "Roulette" sounded like neither. Violet Indiana is an entity of its own. I'll admit I wasn't sure what to make of "Roulette" while listening to the first track "Air Kissing". Luckily I had nothing to worry when "Air Kissing" segued into "Busted", the second track of the album. In the grand tradition of trip hop music, the music is light and airy with the delicate vocals of Siobhan De Mare. The music itself isn't really innovating to be honest but I enjoyed the duo's debut album."
Dreamy & ethereal
time-traveller | Miami, FL | 07/11/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Siobhan de Mare(Mono) and Robin Guthrie(Cocteau Twins) combine their efforts in this new project, Violet Indiana, and the result is sensational! Though I am a big Elizabeth Frasier fan, it is comforting to be able to "understand" what the lyrics are!From the get-go, the CD sounds more like the more mellow side of Portishead with "Air Kissing". After that, you've got two songs ("Busted" & "Sundance") which are produced blandly and lack the necesary hooks. Things really mellow out after the third track but that's good because it seems the more downtempo the song is, the better it sounds! Unfortunately, by the time you reach halfway the CD, it all becomes a drone because every song is produced identical. So...my advise: listen to the songs individually (and not the whole CD) and you'll really like this collection."
The Cocteaus are history. Give them a chance!
powercorruptionandlies2002 | Southern California, United States | 10/05/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's hard to accept that the Cocteau Twins are gone forever, and one would come to expect that if Robin Guthrie did something new, they would never accept it. Violet Indiana teams Guthrie up with Siobhan de Mare, formerly of Mono. The result is a combination of elements from both of their previous projects. They do it well. An even newer element are legitimate lyrics, rather than murmurings and lyrical musings in Guthrie's prior history. Some fans want another Liz Fraser, and if that is the case, this record is not for you. But, if you loved Mono you will definitely love this record. Siobhan de Mare's vocals come out better in this project than when she was in Mono. And, her red hot seductive image really comes out in this recording. It's a very sexy record, the kind that should be played under a red light. The true victory is the final track, "Killer Eyes", which Guthrie rocks harder than he has in the past...P>The "Casino" compilation is a better release, but this is still a fine debut."
Cocteau Twins Revival?
B. Clothier | Tacoma, Wa United States | 06/02/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I first discoved the Cocteau Twins in college and quickly purchased every Cocteau Twins disc I could find! A bit later I discoved Mono and was hooked as well. A combination Guthrie and de Mare seemed like such a natural progression after the demise of both Mono and the Twins. The first few times I spun this disc I thought the 'natural progression' was anything but. I had issues with de Mare's vocals on some of the tracks. She seemed to not quite hit the right notes. And well, at times she doesn't, but after a few more spins I found myself loving this record. I love it because is nice to see Guthrie staying true to the Cocteau Twins legacy with his signature sound. He sticks to what he knows - creating beautiful music. Of course, de Mare had quite a task on this record trying to fill the shoes of Liz Frasier, but she creates her own atmospheres and it works quite well indead. It's nice to see that even after the Cocteau Twins demise, Violet Indiana carry the torch on. Not flawless, but I'm expecting even more great things to come from this band. Favorite tracks include 'sundance', 'hiding', and 'rage days'."