Cocteau Twins


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One of two co-released EPs released as a teaser for the final Cocteaus album Milk and Kisses, the other being Otherness, Twinlights stands on its own as being as close to an "unplugged" effort as the Twins ever got. Rather than being a series of folky strums, though, the Twins brought the same elegant arrangements and performance to the songs as to their work in general, prominently using piano while ditching percussion entirely. Two numbers eventually appeared in full-band form on Milk and Kisses; the opener, "Rilkean Heart," was stripped down here to piano and bass, with Fraser's singing as lovely as always. The other, "Half-Gifts," benefits from a striking string arrangement exclusive to this version, preserving the gently passionate beauty of the Milk and Kisses take while adding a further resonance. One song appeared only here, "Golden-Vein," with very understated acoustic guitar added to the mix. "Pink Orange Red" was the one remake of a past effort, keeping the same pace and general arrangement of the Tiny Dynamine original, but otherwise undergoing a striking revamp. Piano replaces the opening guitar washes and main melody lines, Fraser's singing is much more low-key, and the marvelous descending chords after each chorus are performed on vibes. It's an imaginative and quite successful revision, testimony to the release's overall success.

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