Robin Guthrie - Sunflower Stories - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Robin Guthrie - Sunflower Stories

by Rich Morris Rating:6.5 Release Date:2010-03-15

Former Cocteau Twin, Robin Guthrie is back with a new EP for the spring, following up from last years EPs, album Carousel and excellent collaboration with John Foxx on Mirrorball.

The four instrumental songs on this EP are certainly timely, coinciding with the change from winter to spring. The songs are bright and optimistic and could soundtrack a trip to a sundrenched coast or a walk in the hills.

Swathes of guitar, delicately played, with minimal drum machine backing dominate the first two tracks 'Horse Heaven' and Petals'. Both are effortless and a beautiful listen, but neither really adds anything to Robin's previous work. Not that this is a bad thing, but you are trying to encourage the songs to change pace or key or do something to break free from its cocoon of being simply nice.

The latter two tracks, the more ambient 'Slightly Out of Focus' and 'Sunflower Stories' are the strength of the EP. The former is a slow haze of polite noise, probably nearer to the ambience of the Cocteau Twins' Victorialand LP, and doesn't outstay its welcome. The latter has more pace and structure, again Robin washes the sound with his trademark guitar but there is far more melody here, a change of direction and a richer sound.

It's difficult not to compare this EP to his work in Cocteau Twins, on the whole it is good, particularly the title track, but you feel a little frustrated that the EP yearns for nostalgia rather than looking forward or trying something a little different.

File under listening in the background while concentrating on something else.

Steve Rhodes

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