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CocoRosie The Adventures Of Ghosthorse And Stillborn Review

Album. Released 2007.  

BBC Review

No one is exactly like CocoRosie...

Martin Longley 2007

This third album is more upbeat than CocoRosie's 2005 Noah's Ark, with half-Cherokee sisters Sierra and Bianca Casady recording in Reykjavik, Iceland, calmed down by Bjork's producer Valgeir Sigurosson. In fact, several songs here can only really be seen as some kind of deviant mutation of hiphop.

Choral vocals mix with rapping, the stark musical backing littered with mischievous sonic tomfoolery, peripheral noises that are given a democratic validation as musical tools. The Casady sisters dig kazoos, using these raspy party tootlers on at least two numbers, overdubbed and treated to make like a full horn section. They also enjoy the sound of an irritatingly rung bicycle bell, again appearing on two songs. All this alongside the discreet turntable scratching...

The first two tracks, "Rainbowarriors" and "Promise", are hiphop shunted sideways, malformed into a childlike universe of CocoRosie's own making. It seems that Joanna Newsom has become a more overt influence, hopefully not just as an album-selling strategy. Sierra Casady has had some operatic training, and this is apparent on the music box trilling of "Bloody Twins". It also fuels a completely incongruous insert for the otherwise dancehall reggae skanking of "Japan", a brilliantly absurd romp that's already a classic.

The operatics return for "Houses", but it's back to infant drunkenness once more on "Raphael", caressed by harp and flutes. CocoRosie occasionally use some extremely low bass tones for subliminal worrying reasons, as with the closing "Miracles", where old friend Antony makes a late showing, without his Johnsons. No one is exactly like CocoRosie...

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