I think some things are far above our comprehension and CocoRosie is one of them. For some odd reason, a duo that I find so simple in instrumentation makes little to no sense in arrangement. Their new release, Grey Oceans, is no exception to the trend they have set for the last few years. Although these two sisters have disarming voices that might suck you in for a few moments, the disconnected background arrangements caution you away.
The new record was released on May 11th and is their fourth studio album. The record opens with “Trinity’s Crying”, a beautifully written piano arrangement that opens in the last moments of the song. “Lemonade” is the most endearing and lovable track on the record. I think it might be the only track that steers away from the usual CocoRosie sound. I say that because of the complementary horn section that ignites the rest of the record that drags on to nothing more than the usual. Other songs like “Gallows” and “Here I Come” are no different from the vibe of the duo’s other releases. The overlapping and looping present in most of their songs is no different on this one.
The use of piano is perhaps the biggest strength on this release, but I would prefer that they keep it simple without all of the added sounds – at least that would give us some consistency. However, I think CocoRosie is in the business of doing it one way at the expense that only some of us can follow it. There is a constant disconnect between the band and the listener. I don’t think many people are receptive to CocoRosie because of it, but I also don’t think they will ever make a different record.
To their credit, they harmonize quite well together and it sounds like they certainly have the potential to play more simply. They just choose not to. What is most frustrating about CocoRosie is their inability to reach out and connect with the listener. Their music has always come across as roughly obscure and pretentious.
On the whole, Grey Oceans seems to be the same old thing. I wouldn’t recommend this to a first time listener of the band. I would caution anyone that is interested in checking out CocoRosie, because they don’t make it easy to understand and I find all four releases to be somewhat of the same vein. Try Noah’s Ark; otherwise throw in the towel like the rest of us.