Cocteau Twins

Echoes in a Shallow Bay

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Appearing the same month as its companion release Tiny Dynamine, Echoes maintains the more relaxed-though-still-lush feeling of that EP; if its songs aren't quite as memorable as some of those on Dynamine, they still provide that lovely, unique Cocteau feeling in their performances and arrangements. "Great Spangled Fritillary" adds a touch of dark psychedelia to the proceedings, gong-like chimes and buried feedback drones mixing with the more expected Fraser singing and drum machine loops. "Melonella" has a neat hook by matching the main piano line and Fraser's voice exactly in the verse, one constantly accompanying the other. For the chorus, she steps away for a little more free-form singing against extra guitar. "Pale Clouded White," the EP's best track, reintroduces the slightly ominous, dramatic edge that often characterizes the band's most memorable work. An insistent piano line matches with the bass/drum combination, while Guthrie incorporates both electric and acoustic guitar lines as Fraser sings with understated but strong passion. "Eggs and Their Shells" wraps Echoes up on a softer note, a sweet Fraser vocal and guitar/piano arrangement leading the way.

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