Elizabeth Fraser is my favorite singer

Hearing Heaven or Las Vegas by Cocteau Twins for the first time in 2021 was a big deal for me. The sound was expansive and brilliant; the songwriting was powerful and catchy. The thing that really pushes the album above and beyond, in my opinion, is the voice of Elizabeth Fraser.

Her voice is strong enough to hold up against the wall of sound, and at the same time fully expressive, capable of a complete palette of colors and personalities. Furthermore, she navigates that palette actively over the course of any given phrase, something I always appreciate in a good singer. You can hear this especially well in the verse line from “Cherry-coloured Funk”, which develops exquisitely as it climbs through her vocal range.

Throughout the album, Fraser’s voice is dubbed over itself, which demonstrates her versatility in background vocals and harmonies. In the album’s title track, the harmonies are pretty much color-matched to the melody, augmenting its power. On the other hand, in “Road, River and Rail”, they add a very subtle touch to the pathos of the chorus.

The whole album is worth a listen, and if you appreciate her singing, there’s plenty more where that came from through Cocteau Twins’ entire discography. If you want to hear her just completely go to town, check out “Carolyn’s Fingers” from Blue Bell Knoll.

Have you heard Cocteau Twins or any of Elizabeth Fraser’s other singing? Do you have a favorite track she sings on? Do you have a different favorite singer? Let me know your thoughts at my Ctrl-C email: gome ​@ ​ctrl-c.club.