Their name, chosen from Shakespeare's "Hamlet", one of my favourite books ever, was an attention call. I thought to myself they had to be wonderful, since they were very related to Cocteau Twins and their name was taken off "Hamlet".
"Blood" is in fact a beautiful, beautiful album. It's one of the least heavy albums of This Mortal Coil and it's the one whom I have first been (actually) introduced to. There are definitely some pointless and unnecessary instrumental tracks, such as "Andialu", "Loose Joints" and "Ruddy and Wretched". Yet, it is an album with such beautiful songs, most of them covers, that's true, but This Mortal Coil were indeed able to improve those very songs and take them to a completely different level. I do give all of the credits to the respectful authors of the cover songs, but This Mortal Coil took their songs to absolute bliss and perfection. For example, "I Come and Stand at Every Door" sends shivers down my spine because they have actually took the song to the extreme of drama and tragedy. It's a complete and absolute different universe you enter in once you press the play button to this album.
|You And Your Sister's cover without font|
One of the most obvious highlights is Caroline Crawley's voice, in songs as "Mr. Somewhere", "Help Me Lift You Up" and "Late Night", in which she gives a very pastoral and rural touch to the songs. Another one is that genius and sweet sound of "You and Your Sister", where you can actually feel emanation of love out of the song and its vocals and the very beauty and uncertainty of love and affection for someone. The beauty and softness and the almost velvet-like sonority of songs like "The Lacemaker", "With Tomorrow", "Carolyn's Song", "'Till I Gain Control Again", "Dreams Are Like Water" dictate the very and exact essence of the whole album: calm, tranquillity, the beauty of melancholy. "Baby Ray Baby" is one of the most lovely and innocent songs in the album, from the baby's babbling to the choir in the background singing imperceptible sentences in a very maternal yet melancholic way, sounding almost as guardian fairies or, as my boyfriend once said to me, "pre-raphaelite muses", which is a definition I absolutely agree. The subject of childhood is spoken in "I Come and Stand at Every Door" and "Baby Ray Baby" which I think it was meant some kind of contrast between those two: the subject of losing your own childhood to death and the other subject of being a baby wording meaningless things as that infant is protected by some metaphysical women or force. It's haunting to me because I have thought about that, about how the child in "I Come and Stand at Every Door" will never live his or her own careless childhood, and how that child will never grow old. These type of things really can touch me in a very deep way, and that is exactly why I can't listen very often that song, because it simply is too sad and tragic.
"Several Times" is the very peak of what journalists and the whole media seem to call "dream pop". It's one of the dreamiest songs I ever experienced in my whole life, and it's beautiful, yet painfully short. Yet, the whole album is, indeed, dreamy and to me, it's got a beautiful mazzy and hazzy, stardust atmosphere. Beautiful, haunting at times, sweet and innocent, but above all, a wonderful and well done album.