CocoRosie – Heartache City
How sad this is to see: ‘freak folk’ twosome CocoRosie, somehow missing their proverbial ‘spark’, struggling to show a pulse. Bianca and Sierra Casady, the pixie-larynx’d sisters with a decade of bewitching, occult records under their belts, hit a few dud notes with the tranquilised and half-lidded Heartache City.
As if with the sponge tool on Photoshop, most of the colour’s been sapped away. It’s only in rare glimpses (the full-bodied chorus in Lost Girls, or the title track’s handclap beat) that we’re reminded of their former textures.
It’s an otherwise stripped-down affair, reduced to sobering piano and conventional drums, without the eccentric electronics and beatboxing of yesteryear. Even the off-kilter rap-poetry appears to be recited joylessly (Forget Me Not, Tim and Tina); they’ve always been the lyrical equivalent of touching something slimey in the dark, but here the spooky words sound neutered. Opting for a sparser sound can work its own magic, of course, but for CocoRosie, the result is a malnourished record, lacking the rosier cheeks of past efforts.