There's an air of complacency about the Cocteau Twins' last album, as if they had settled into comfortable domestic mode. It's mostly an exercise in milking the sound they had perfected on "Heaven or Las Vegas". They seem to have forgotten that one of their strengths is writing decent tunes to fill that sound. "Tishbite" and "Calfskin Smack" are easy-going jangly pop which would have fitted well into the upbeat "Four Calendar Cafe". But it's all too watered-down and dementedly optimistic. The only place where their sharp creative edge really emerges is right at the end, on "Seekers who are Lovers". Liz Fraser's weaving of melody and stratospheric counter-melody makes the spine tingle just like the old days. After this album they knew it was time to call it a day with the Cocteaus and move on.
September 23, 2004