Twin Shadow: Confess. (4AD)
Recently one sure fire way to be successfully lauded around ‘the blogs’ was to capture the 80’s aesthetic & run with it. Most artists who attepmted to do such fell flat on their faces sadly, but not Twin Shadow though who’s totally captured all that decade was about.
If I was told that George Lewis Jr (Twin Shadow) dropped off this album in his flying Delorean I’d probably believe it. 2012 via the best of 80s soundtracks has a serious contender for synth album of the year.
But despite opening track Golden Light’s unashamedly mimicking of the soft rock Lost Boys theme Cry Little Sister, this is not a retro-fest. It’s too clever for that. A follow up to his 2010 debut Forget, these ten new tracks are superbly crafted pop tunes, with silky smooth vocals, lyrics that embody album title ”ËConfess’, heart attack synths, unfeigned soul and enough big hooks to reel in Jaws.
Born in the Dominican Republic, Lewis was well travelled before he settled in New York and began work as Twin Shadow. Of his songwriting he once said “if you condense a memory into just a few words, pick words that are potent.”Â
Rather than rest on the laurels of the great synth sounds he has created, he uses his potent words as well. In standout The One he sings “I’m in love with the end of a book, you roll in with the cruel world”Â – but this is not an album of fairytale endings. He describes a selfish character very aware of his flaws and unapologetic. Lovers are cast aside as 80s power chords crash in and out around them.
I don’t know if this really is a confessional album or it’s the real Lewis Jr we’re hearing about, but I want to agree with him when he sings “I don’t care, as long as you can dance me round the room, while you lie to me”Â in I Don’t Care.
A must for fans of 80s film soundtracks, who want a cool American take on the likes of Hot Chip and Ladyhawke, that manages to channel Prince and Hall and Oates amongst many others.
All words Peter Climie. More features by Peter can be found here.