CAD 611 The Moon And The Melodies
Produced by Harold Budd, Elizabeth Fraser, Robin Guthrie, Simon Raymonde
Released on 1986
no chart information
Find it at GEMM
CAD 611 cover  

It’s an early morning in January, I’m awake with a wolf moon (so Bob tells me), the cat is asleep, and the house is alive with The Moon & The Melodies. I’ve listened to this collaboration between pianist Harold Budd and The Cocteau Twins many times, but in the stillness of this morning I’m hearing it in a whole new light. An earlier, didactic review tried to get its bony arms around something that was conceived elusive on the spot, and I apologize if it kindled nothing in the hearts of its readers save ennui. This one will be better. (Everything will be better in January, won’t it Moon?) The album is a clever game of give and take: Harold Budd adds shards of his patented piano icicles to Cocteau Twins’ half-articulated and highly suggestive dreamfloes; Cocteau Twins (here credited individually) add commentary to Harold Budd’s seemingly extemporaneous divinations on the white and black. The effect augments the work of both, providing a wonderful launching point for the Cocteaus on “Sea, Swallow Me” (where I’ll call Elizabeth Fraser’s voice a French Oriental Elven coo this time) and adding a measure of Enossification to the trickles of “Memory Gongs.” Contrary to my earlier, pedestrian observation of this Moon, the players do arrive at new lands sometimes, especially on “Why Do You Love Me?” The piece, which combines Harold Budd’s rolling notes and some quiet wailing from a guitar, actually suggests the Bowie/Eno experiments of Low and “Heroes.” The very poppy (relative to what I expected from a Harold Budd album) “Eyes Are Mosaics” must have caught the ear of Andy Partridge, as its mass of tiny flowers blooms from the same intoxicating mosses that XTC has trod over on songs like “Heaven Is Paved From Broken Glass.” The second side repeats the experiment, alternating between incorporating Budd’s work into the Cocteau’s idiom (“She Will Destroy You”) and vice versa (“Bloody And Blunt,” which is actually a terrible name). Not being familiar with the Cocteau Twins’ music, it took some time for me to look past Elizabeth Fraser’s delicious witchery. As it originally obscured my vision of Harold Budd’s contributions, I ceded Cocteau Twins the upper hand. Over time, in the light of the moon, I’ve gained a better perspective, and might call this the most fragrant flower in the Budding fields. If it is an elusive moonflower as I suspect, patience and stillness will evince its odoriferous charge, so be patient, be still.

CAD 611 back cover CAD 611 picture sleeve
CAD 611 back cover CAD 611 picture sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. SEA, SWALLOW ME
  2. MEMORY GONGS
  3. WHY DO YOU LOVE ME?
  4. EYES ARE MOSAICS
  5. SHE WILL DESTROY YOU
  6. THE GHOST HAS NO HOME
  7. BLOODY AND BLUNT
  8. OOZE OUT AND AWAY, ONEHOW

    All songs written by Harold Budd/Elizabeth Fraser/Robin Guthrie/Simon Raymonde

CREDITS

HAROLD BUDD --
ELIZABETH FRASER --
ROBIN GUTHRIE --
SIMON RAYMONDE --
Richard Thomas -- saxophone, drums
23 Envelope -- sleeve
Nigel Grierson of 23 Envelope -- photography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK/FRA 1986 4AD LP/CD/CS CAD/CADC 611 picture sleeve
US 1986 Relativity LP/CD/CS 8143 picture sleeve

 

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