Cocteau Twins

The Spangle Maker

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AllMusic Review by

The first Twins release with Raymonde on bass, The Spanglmaker simply nails it, a note-perfect slice of Twins life which acted as the best possible teaser for the band's follow-up effort, the peerless Treasure. The title track is the lead number, one of the Twins' most dramatic and captivating songs. Over Raymonde's low bass work and the rhythm pulse, Fraser sings an alternately commanding then captivating vocal. Guthrie's guitar follows its own course, creating drones and wails in the background, coming together with Fraser only on the chorus. The song concludes with a smashing full arrangement on the final chorus, the drums suddenly powered up high and the Twins' trademark mock choir effect putting it all together with a flourish. "Pearly-Dewdrops' Drops" isn't as immediately stunning, but it comes close, shimmering guitar lines, sparkling keyboard and piano and a measured pace backing a soaring Fraser take. The 12" version begins with a quieter opening, and at one point cuts down much of the instrumentation to let Fraser's voice come fully front and center, a lovely touch. "Pepper-Tree," in comparison, is lighter and relaxed, similarly paced but more content to aim for the beautiful rather than the full-on sublime. The combination of synth strings and ticking clock at the end make for a good conclusion.

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