Twin Shadow: Confess [Album Review]

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Twin Shadow
4AD Records [2012]

Fire Note Says: Twin Shadow explores the darker side of pop music with his second lp, Confess.

Album Review: Does anybody remember when Prince was the real King of Pop, and each album was an event to be studied and broken down into little pieces to be studied? I do, and that’s what Twin Shadow sophomore lp reminds me of, specifically His Royal Purple Badness’s Lovesexy, an album about his struggles with his spiritual side and his sensual side, a battle for his soul played out on wax. George Lewis aka Twin Shadow sounds like he is having a similar crisis, not a spiritual/sensual battle not necessarily good and evil either, but more along the lines of do I want to celebrate my freedom or do I want to cool out a bit and find something a little more stable. This internal battle plays out throughout Confess, and makes for an engaging yet flawed album, similar to Lovesexy [1988].

The press release talks about the album being inspired by a ride on a motorcycle, and as Lewis pushed the speedometer closer to triple digits, he started to feel a sense of freedom that only that speed can bring, similarly that metaphor seems to play out in real life, the closer he gets to chaos and confrontation, the closer he gets to a feeling of peace. The album is full of songs about Love, Lust, not being in Love, maybe hoping he could find love, maybe hoping you could love him. He’s a mess, and he lays it all out for us to hear. He celebrated the fact that he was getting over his heartbreak on his debut lp, Forget, but has he really forgotten? It seems like he remembers a little more than he lets on, and part of him is hoping for that feeling to come back to him. It’s complicated mess for sure, and what makes the album infinitely repeatable.

Musically, a lot of the Grizzly Bear influence has been removed. What we have here are lots of sampled beats, synths, and more guitar than previously. It’s a dense record sonically, it’s packed together tightly with a shiny 80’s new wave exterior, but underneath that surface lies the lyrical turmoil. Lewis’ voice is more front and center on this one, sounding more like Peter Gabriel or the guy from TV On The Radio. Is this record as good as the hype suggests? Probably not, but it is the portrait of an artist going through intense inner turmoil and laying it all out for listeners to share with him and we could use a few more artists willing to be this honest on record.

Key Tracks: “I Don’t Care”, “Golden Light”, “Run My Heart”

Artists With Similar Fire: TV On The Radio / Prince / Morrissey/The Smiths

Twin Shadow Website
Twin Shadow Facebook
4AD Records

-Reviewed by Kevin Poindexter

Kevin Poindexter
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