Slightly better than Filigree & Shadow; I think if this were released in 1986 and that one was released in 1991, Blood would gain Filigree‘s slightly better reputation. This one still suffers from its atmosphere being completely stimulated and being a double album for no reason at all. Ivo Watts-Russell makes sure that songs segue into one another that makes for a cohesive listening experience if you’re willing to waste 76 minutes but also ensures that listening to any of these songs individually is a slightly jarring experience. “I Come and Stand at Every Door,” the haunting Hiroshima tale by the Byrds practically tailor-made for 4AD treatment, is sent to shit by the worst drum sound and programming and the most bombastic vocalist they could’ve found; “Baby Ray Baby” is two minutes’ worth of hearing a baby cry. In comparison to It’ll End in Tears, where they kept the melodies of Big Star’s “Kangaroo” but turned it into a different song, they don’t do anything new with Chris Bell’s “I Am the Cosmos” except a wooden performance.
The good stuff, and there ain’t much: the string arrangement of “The Lacemaker,” starting at the 1:50 mark; “Mr. Somewhere,” for being one of the better Elizabeth Fraser imitations you can find; “You and Your Sister,” whose slow arpeggiated guitar makes it a more boring ordeal than Chris Bell’s intricately-fingerpicked original, but it’s hard to fault Kim Deal’s sweet singing; the ominous riff and well-controlled feedback of “Ruddy and Wretched” whose title purposefully recalls “Pearly Dewdrops Drops” (I remember nothing about any of the other instrumentals); and maybe “D.D. and E.” for having a discernible melody. That’s 12 minutes out of a 76-minute album.