A truly genre-less sound
CocoRosie recently released Put the Shine On, an album that consists of 12 songs, but has incredible run time. There is only one song under four minutes. One thing is for sure, each song is a story, and they’ve got something to say.
This duo defies genre. Their music is simultaneously so many different things. One moment it’s pop, then three seconds later you’re in a rap verse, then before you know it, you’re listening to an indie-folk tune with a hint of electronic influence. If you listen to the last two tracks one after the other, it sounds like two songs that would never be on the same album together. It’s a jumbled mess, but somehow it works.
For example, in the song “Where Did All the Soldiers Go,” it is difficult to pinpoint one specific sound. There’s a high pitch whistle that brings a sci-fi feel to it, an organ that takes you to a cathedral, and a maraca and woodblock that sails you away to the Caribbean. This unusual mix of sounds brings about a feeling of confusion; this feeling is met with a chorus made up only of questions, the answer is found in a line repeated throughout the piece, “the tears tell it all.”
CocoRosie showcases their ability to sample everyday sounds in their songs. It’s fun to try and pick out where each sound was taken from, and uncover why it’s in there, what it’s purpose might have been. In the song “Burning Down the House” there is a lot of telephone sounds used throughout. The beginning sounds like Morse code, and can also be a disconnected line. There’s also the automated voice of an answering machine, and the scratch of a phone losing connection. Mixed with haunting ghoul sounds and the idea of burning a house down, one can speculate the many things a phone that did not connect to a caller on the other end might signify.
Though they definitely did a good job of controlling their music before it becomes out of control, the order of the tracklist does the album a great disservice. The song “Restless” sounds like the typical one-last-hoorah-parade-through-the-street type of track. There is a beautiful resolution throughout the song and would have been a strong note to end on. Order aside, if a one-of-a-kind sound is what you’re looking for, then this is the place to look.