Terror Twilight is retrospectively remembered by the group as their most difficult record – with group tensions escalating, it ended up as essentially a collaboration between Stephen Malkmus and producer Nigel Godrich, fresh from working with Radiohead, Beck, and R.E.M.’s Up. Terror Twilight is mellow like Brighten The Corners, but with Godrich adding sonic textures it’s much more interesting. Kannberg doesn’t contribute any songs on Terror Twilight, and in some ways it’s difficult to see how his music would fit into the mellowed out, textured feel of Terror Twilight.
The collaboration of Malkmus and Godrich generally results in languid and pretty songs, although ‘Cream of Gold’ is an engaging riff rocker, and closer ‘Carrot Rope’ lopes along jauntily. But otherwise the most memorable pieces are the slow-paced melodic songs like opener ‘Spit On A Stranger’, ‘You Are A Light’, and the country feel of ‘Major Leagues’.
Artistically, Terror Twilight is a rebound from Brighten The Corners – Godrich’s arrangements augment these songs and make them more interesting, and it’s a pretty album. But the near absence of the other members signposts that the band had run its course, and it’s not surprising that Terror Twilight was Pavement’s final album.