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Thursday, December 16, 2004

All I Want With My Life

Usually the criticism "willfully eclectic" doesn't mean much to me: what's wrong with being all over the place? But listening to CocoRosie's debut album, La Maison De Mon RĂªve, from earlier this year, I can almost understand. CocoRosie take on so many styles and ideas, from old-time blues and folk to twisted torch songs and trip-hop, that they set themselves up to fail. Their sound and approach are admirable, but their blatant lack of an ear for knowing what works and what doesn't is frustrating. The end result is an album that I really want to like, but one whose unfocused wanderings make it impossible for me to warm up to all but a few songs. And yet, saying that CocoRosie fail isn't telling the whole story; they fail interestingly.

The song I'm posting from La Maison is one that does work, decidedly so. It starts off creaking and hammering, then the beat appears almost before you realize it, then the first, childish voice and finally another voice, seemingly unaware of the first but feeding off of it all the same. The backing of the song is interesting, but it isn't what makes the song. It's basically trip-hop, though more compelling and eccentric than most of that tired genre. What makes this song is those voices: the way they float above the track, the way they circle each other, and, most importantly, the way they simulataneously sound like they don't belong to this song and sound completely at home over the beat's blips and blurts. The lyrics could be R&B fare, albeit weird R&B, but not when sung with the Casady sisters' voices. Hear for yourself:

CocoRosie - "By Your Side"

Visit Touch & Go Records for more information about CocoRosie or to buy La Maison. CocoRosie also have their own website, but it doesn't appear to be working.


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