This rarity is a fun little single. This limited edition
record was released in the UK only, and is a hard to find
treat (one expert tells me that there were under 5,000 copies
made.) Can't you just imagine the Cocteau Twins playing these
Christmas tunes? Just thinking about Elizabeth Fraser singing
these classic tunes just sends chills up your spine. Well,
let me tell you, this EP sounds exactly like you think it
would. Those swirling guitars and layers and Fraser's voice
playing around the words; you can't ask for much more.
Both of the tunes take the basic structure of the carols and
leaves them pretty much intact. The playfulness of these tunes
is not in the re-arrangement of the tunes; it's in the interpretation
of the material. Give them the Robin Guthrie treatment and
they will never be the same again. When "Winter Wonderland"
opens, it sounds like any sort of Cocteau Twins tune. You
get the swirling lead line and Simon Raymonde's slinky bass.
Guthrie then uses the keyboard to five that jaunty sound.
Then there's that percussion; it's not overbearing and over
"jingley." For one of the few times on record, we
actually hear Fraser sing "words." Her sweet and
airy delivery wraps itself around the words and carries them
up into the snowy sky. Eat your heart out Santa, they can
fly just as far and high with this tune (especially when the
acoustic guitar solo takes over.) The epic tale of Frosty
is given the other end of the Cocteau's spectrum. This one
is of the harder school of thought for the band. The drum
tracks are heavier and far more driving. Raymonde's bass gives
us the heavier more attack worthy treatment. The guitar and
its ever present echo pattern fills out the rest of the spectrum,
leaving only small spaces for keyboard. The subdued jingle
is here as well. Fraser also sings with more force, at times
she reverts into her phrasing instead of singing the words
exclusively. Maybe she forgot the words, maybe it was intended,
none the less, it doesn't take away from the tune (you know
the damn words anyways, right.) This single is exactly what
you thought you'd get. Look high and low to find it, it's
rare, but it's sure to bring you joy during each holiday season.
1. Winter Wonderland
2. Frosty The Snowman