There is something so magical about Elizabeth Fraser’s voice that words can only hope to give one a glimpse, an idea, a feeling of what it is she represents. Words are poor substitutes, I admit. There is no single stanza that can accurately depict what the Cocteau Twins can in a single song. Paintings by great Masters – Monet, Picasso, Van Gogh – would be more appropriate, illustrative representations of what this trio gives away to its listeners so effortlessly.
I’ve lost count of the number of albums the Twins have put out now, and I know there is a die-hard fan out there just waiting to jump all over me for this little faux pas, but the truth of the matter is this: Why count? It’s like counting the individual pieces of chocolate in a box of Godiva’s. Each piece should simply be enjoyed for what it is, not for what it came after, or before, or between. Let the cherry drops be cherry drops and the Pearly Dew Drop Drops be, well, exactly that. Who cares how many albums are out there, really, when one album is just as much of a treat as the next one?
Ikay, okay, I must admit, I have my favorites. Treasure and The Pink Opaque stand prominently at the top of the list, but only because of a blonde-haired sprite I once knew who liked to make love beneath a black light while Blood Bitch bounced off the thin walls of my apartment; walls she had madly splattered with the fluorescent semen from a chem-light. I still remember the way her face and breasts glowed, the only luminance in that darkened room. And that image accompanied by Elizabeth’s voice will forever be coupled in my mind.
For what it’s now worth to this married man, milk and kisses is a plush, velvety throwback to the Twins mid-Eighties sound. Granted, the band’s image and feel hasn’t undergone any major overhauls, but there have been minor adjustments, hints of subtlety, winks of wisdom. Their personae has aged perfunctorily, like a fine Italian wine. And maybe this is why I find milk and kisses such a welcome addition to my collection. It is here that the band recalls its roots while progressing forward. It is here that I’m reminded of those wild, drunken nights from my youth.