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Robin Guthrie

Emeralds

(Darla; US: 24 May 2011; UK: 23 May 2011)

“Digging for Gold”, the first track on Emeralds, is based not on guitar but on electric piano. But, after 30 years of wringing lush, heavily textured soundscapes out of guitars and effects pedals, Robin Guthrie is not about to change his stripes. Emeralds is basically more of the same, though it’s more focused and affecting than some of his recent efforts.


“Wishing” is an uplifting pop song played in the clouds, while tracks like “The Blue Book” have a more glacial, orchestral feel. Guthrie has a thing about burying the drums in his mixes, and Emeralds is no different. But the album still sounds warm and cozy. It’s like an instrumental album from Guthrie’s former band, Cocteau Twins. And that means Emeralds’ beauty makes you long for a complementary vocalist like the Cocteaus’ Liz Fraser all the more.

Rating:

John Bergstrom has been writing various reviews and features for PopMatters since 2004. He has been a music fanatic at least since he and a couple friends put together The Rock Group Dictionary in third grade (although he now admits that giving Pat Benatar the title of "first good female rocker" was probably a mistake). He has done freelance writing for Trouser Pressonline, Milwaukee's Shepherd Express, and the late Milk magazine and website. He currently resides in Madison, Wisconsin with his wife and two kids, both of whom are very good dancers.


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Robin Guthrie - Emeralds Robin Guthrie - Warmed By the Winter Sun
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