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Heaven Or Las Vegas (Remastered)

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Album Review

Deciding to scale back the overly pretty sound on Blue Bell Knoll while experimenting with more accessibility — — the Twins ended up creating their best album since Treasure. From the start, Heaven... is simply fantastic: on "Cherry-Coloured Funk," Guthrie's inimitable guitar work chimes leading a low-key but forceful rhythm, while Raymonde's grand bass work fleshes it out. Fraser simply captivates; her vocals are the clearest, most direct they've ever been, purring with energy and life. Many songs have longer openings and closings; rather than crashing fully into a song and then quickly ending, instead the trio carefully builds up and eases back. These songs are still quite focused, though, almost sounding like they were recorded live instead of being assembled in the studio. Due credit has to be given to the Cocteaus' drum programming; years of working with the machines translated into the detailed work here, right down to the fills. "Fifty-Fifty Clown," starting with an ominous bass throb, turns into a lovely showcase for Fraser's singing and Guthrie's more restrained playing. But the Twins don't completely turn their back on Knoll's sound; "Iceblink Luck," has the same lush feeling and a newfound energy — the instrumental break is almost a rave-up! — and everything pulses to a fine conclusion. There are many moments of sheer Cocteaus beauty and power, including the title track, with its great chorus, and two spotlight Guthrie solos: "Fotzepolitic," a powerful number building to a rushing conclusion, and the album-ending "Frou Frou Foxes in Midsummer Fires." Possessing the same climactic sense of drama past disc-closers as "Donimo" and "The Thinner the Air," it's a perfect way to end a near-perfect album. [Heaven or Las Vegas was released on LP in 2014.]

Customer Reviews

Other Worldly

The most commercial of Cocteau Twins albums.... yet the most enduring and memorable. There's something here for everyone. The 'die-hard' fans will relate to Fraser's 'inspired' lyrics on Cherry Coulred Funk and the more commercial new-comers will relate to gems like the title track. Here you'll find Enya-meets-ABBA-meets-Pink Floyd-meets-Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark.... But it's all Cocteau Twins!


Being the Twins' final album with indie label 4AD before signing with Mercury, this should be categorised as part of their 'trilogy' set: "Heaven or Las Vegas (1990)", "Four-Calendar Café (1993)" and "milk & kisses (1996)". Rather than retaining their ethereal sound of their past works, the Twins added more pop & rock elements to attract a wider audience, not to just simply release albums for die-hard fans. The formula works, but it was to be the beginning of the end as their subsequent releases, although complimenting each other, was becoming stale on creativity. They pioneered their style, became musical legends and became an important reference to upcoming musicians of the 21st century, leaving them with nothing else to conquer, hence the only progression is to disband and pursue solo careers. Take some time to browse through the iTunes catalogue under each band members' name and you may find some interesting and/or bizarre solo or collaborative releases which highlights their change in musical direction.

stone cold masterpiece

time has not wearied these awesome tunes. still sounds as fresh and inviting as it did 25 years ago.... one the best albums of the last 30 years......


Formed: 1979 in Grangemouth, Scotland

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

A group whose distinctly ethereal and gossamer sound virtually defined the enigmatic image of the record label 4AD, Cocteau Twins were founded in Grangemouth, Scotland, in 1979. Taking their name from an obscure song from fellow Scots Simple Minds, the Cocteaus were originally formed by guitarist Robin Guthrie and bassist Will Heggie and later rounded out by Guthrie's girlfriend Elizabeth Fraser, an utterly unique performer whose swooping, operatic vocals relied less on any recognizable language...
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