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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable,
I'm not the biggest fan of modern pop music i generally find it banal, unsophisticated and soulless. The most recent obsession pop producers have with euro dance beats and extremely annoying auto tune makes me want throw my radio through the window if i should happen to accidently turn the dial the wrong way. There are some musicians who seem to be trying to restore some credibility to the genre though, the only problem is their largely unknown by mass consumers. Twin shadow is one of these artists that i think does have the ability to reach a larger audience and hopefully his stellar new album confess might help him become a star (lord knows we could do with someone to take some attention away from the irratating likes of Justin bieber).
Confess is riddled with the same retro 80's smoothness that his excellent debut Forget had, however it features a much stronger emphasis on the poppier elements of this style, with the production featuring less reverb and the instrumentation sounding louder, more melodic and direct. "Golden Light" opens the album brillaintly with George Lewis Jr delivering a staggering vocal perfomance to bombasticly smooth 80's style synths and drum machines. Lyrically it's filled with sharp, bitter declarations of apathy towards what one can only assume was a previous love interest.
If there's any justice in the world lead single "Five Seconds" will be blasting out of every speaker in nightclubs for years to come; it's bouncy, buoyant, full of energy and shamelessly catchy. The rest of the album takes a similar approach to the afforementioned tracks by staying in 80's town but the scope is considerably wider with the lovely "One" drawing inspiration from The Cure's Goth pop, "Patient" combines elements of Toto's "Africa" and the sassiness of Purple rain era Prince and then there's even a little Quiet storm ala Anita Baker in "When the Movies Over".
It's hard to escape from the fact that a couple of the songs on confess are a little MOR sounding, Specifically "Be Mine Tonight" feels rather vacuous when compared to the edgy dynamism and clever ambiguity of "Golden Light or "Patient". Nevertheless a spot of filler isn't strong enough to dampen this album's appeal and for anybody who's grown up on Rihanna or Bruno Mars exclusively, you'll think these lesser moments on confess are like masterworks in comparison to what you've previously heard.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Boys Will Be Boys,
In today's world of aquacrunk, driftstep and gothgaze it's fairly rare that someone invokes the simple new-wave pop of The Police, but Dominican Republic-born George Lewis Junior notably does just that on "Run My Heart", running it past some classic Springsteen balladeering and mid-distance indie jangles to boot. Amid repeats of "Just a boy / Just a girl" it's clear that Lewis has nevertheless stuck to the same themes of sex and mishandling relationships that dominated his wistful, sometimes aptly indistinct debut Forget.
Confess, on the other hand, is much surer of itself now that Lewis has cast himself as some leather-clad troublemaker - there's little chance however of him going that extra step and becoming the leader of the pack because the allure of the 80s still hangs so heavily over his every move that it's like he's bathed in Paco Rabanne. Undisputed album highlight, "Five Seconds" is, for example, pure unabashed pop that showcases punchy bass tempos pilfered from David Lynch, perfect synth hooks, popping drum sequences and more guitars ripped from the Boss.
There are echoes too of that diminutive lothario Prince in the satin smoothness of "You Call Me On" and "Beg For The Night" is all about a cruising bassline and stadium-sized drum blasts over which laser effects latterly play off against soaring guitar solos. Sweeping bass synths scan the nether regions of "Patient" like a searchlight as Lewis states that "Boys will be boys", dressing the fact with harsh snares and a peppering of guitar funk.
Lewis the would-be-swordsman isn't entirely irresistible though and he strikes out with several unremarkable cuts, also, along with Alt-J and Beach House's recent faux pas, falling foul of trying to resurrect the "hidden" track and its necessary intrusion of prefacing blank space - thankfully reward finally does come in the form of the clapping, crunching funk of "Mirror In The Dark".
Confess is a brash album full of period masculinity, but one not so mired in the past that it's a joke. The anachronistic undertow of the bass synth drone/pulse for example renders it as contemporary as the snare programming anchors it further back in time. A precarious blend in places, Confess is nevertheless excellent in others.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Potpourri of pop songs rooted in 80s retro,
Another fine offering delivered by Twin Shadow. Reminds this reviewer of AR Kane, Psychedelic Furs and The The in terms of glossy layered production, mechanised beats and synths, and lush vocals dishing out libido-led lyrics; throw in some Peter Gabriel theatricality. There's a knowing, yet unabashed cheesiness to the arrangements here. Highlights: 'golden light' and 'beg for the night.' It's not for everyone, but builds on the first LP 'Forget' and commits more to the 80s vibe and formulae experimented on there. If you liked that, this one will feel at once familiar and bolder. Probably best to check the Amazon US site, and play the samples before you buy.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Twin Shadow - Confessions are good for the soul,
Twin Shadow is the stage name of American musician George Lewis Jr who allegedly drew inspiration for this album from a bike accident in Boston. Music lovers everywhere should exhort Mr Lewis to be far more careful for in "Confess" he has produced an album of 80s inspired synth rock, soul and funk which does dabble in retro but comes out sounding surprisingly fresh and squeaky clean. Lewis operates in a territory on "Confess" which has been a graveyard for some other bands. Think of the horrible Killers album "Day and Age" where Brandon Flowers caught a massive musical cold. That said more recently other artists have been more successful in plundering the legacy of Human League, Heaven 17, OMD, Gary Numan and Visage. Dan Bejar's "Destroyer" produced the brilliant "Kaputt" last year (albeit with a very large tongue in their cheek) and Twin Shadow follows from that roaring success.
True there is more than a nod here to Prince who also rode that phase for the production of massive slabs of synth inspired funk that tested your audio equipment with the persistence of electronic oscillators and stinging guitar solo's . Check out the huge wall of sound that is "You call me on" and Lewis captures the essence of what made the Purple one so special. Big choruses interspersed with pounding hooks are the order of the day and this album deserves to be played across Europe in summer festivals. The glorious ballad "The One" drifts along at perfect pace and when Lewis poetically sings "dance me round the room and lie to me" in "I dont care" your tempted to dust down the old dancing pumps and skip the light fantastic. On "Five Seconds" Lewis borrows that huge backdrop which TV on the Radio employed on their brilliant song "Wolf like me" although he not quite in their class. On of the standout songs here is "Beg for the night" where Lewis keeps it relatively simple in synth driven long song but even better is the sensual electronica of "Be mine tonight" which is truly splendid. Twin Shadow in the form of George Lewis have recorded a a excellent pop album here and it proof that confessions are good for the soul.
5.0 out of 5 stars Album of 2012?,
I got this album after a friend highly recommended it. I have to say, I was initially put off by the cover and wasn't blown away on first listen. However, it's one of those albums that strengthens with every play and has become one of the few albums I've been swooning over in the last couple of years.
It is all the best of Synth/electro pop with a hint of Morrissey's vocals and if you give it a few plays you may well end up giving it a lot more.
5.0 out of 5 stars Album of the year 2012!!!,
This review is from: Confess [VINYL] (Vinyl)
George Lewis Jr. aka Twin Shadow has proved with his second album ''Confess'' that he is a great singer/songwriter!
This is a great indie-pop-rock-electro...in one word it's a great record! All songs are almost equaly good! There is no bad songs on the LP! Five Seconds, Run My Herat, When The Movie's Over, Be Mine Tonight and also the rest of the album is just thrilling! To me, it is the most playable album of 2012, and still is, so, I highly recommend this LP to everyone,
especially to the fans of the '80. music but with energy of 2012, and everyone who loves a good song. Also with mix of Michael Brauer and mastering from the old veteran of mastering Bob Ludwig you can't go wrong! It sounds really spectacular!
So I've got a CD and Vinyl. The sound is way better on CD than the LP. But the cover art is way better on Vinyl. So if you want the sound, go for a CD. If you don't mind a little less quality, and if you are a fan of a Vinyl, you should buy it, 'cause you also get a mp3-High quality coupon with it! So you can have both. But what matter the most, whatever format you choose to buy is that you will get a great music! Great songs! And that's the most important! So enjoy it!
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