Twin Shadow - Confess
With all eyes on Twin Shadow, aka George Lewis Jr., the release of his follow up to critically acclaimed first album Forget has been pinned to the mast by some as one of the albums of the year - or at least the summer.
Opening track ‘Golden Light’ gives sophomore attempt Confess a promising head start with some neat melodies gently building to an understated climax. Lewis' vocals are smooth and alluring, but it’s difficult to shake an unsettling feeling present throughout the LP. Rather than a continuous flow, the album verges on the traumatic and takes you on an eerily destructive sounding journey. ‘You Call Me On’ relies heavily on a disconcerting percussive pattern, the swooping melodies trying in vain to give the song some sense of balance. It’s as though Twin Shadow isn’t sure if he is sound tracking a sun-drenched 80s movie or competing at the cutting edge of the electro-tinged downbeat pop led by the likes of Jamie's Woon or XX. With equal parts contemporary and 80s plagiarism, the confusing atmosphere Confess can make the album sound messy at times.
Lyrically speaking, Confess tells it like it is, sometimes elusively, but mostly with the cruel honesty you imagine has broken many a heart. Most obvious on the subtly titled ‘I Don’t Care’, Lewis venomously narrates a story of hurt and regret… light-hearted listening this is not.
There is definitely substance here, particularly from a vocal perspective. George Lewis Jr. has a voice akin to some of the soul greats and given the right genre he could be a huge star. Unfortunately Confess doesn’t quite match up to his talent, and it will leave you sitting uncomfortably on the edge of your seat.