Jeff Moody

Twin Shadow of mediocrity

Twin Shadow's "Confess" is full of style but short on substance.

By - Jul 21st, 2012 04:00 am
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The first time I heard Twin Shadow (nom de plume of one Mr. George W. Lewis) I was intrigued by how strongly the tones of the opening guitar chords of “You Call Me On” resembled that of “Roxanne” by New Orleans hip-hop rockers The Knux (if you played it at half-speed), and how the track as a whole bore a resemblance to the quiet heartbreak of TV On The Radio’s Nine Types Of Light, which was one of my favorites last year. Based on that, I wanted to hear more. So I did, and now I don’t really care if I ever do again.

Confess is another one of those records that plumbs the past for materials to build in the present. Not an inherently bad thing, but it helps to have a little substance to go with all that style. Confess has plenty of shoulder-padded, Patrick Nagle style. What’s missing? Soul. If you’ve heard TV On The Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe sing, uhh, anything at all, you know what I’m talking about. His voice is an instrument of raw emotion. Twin Shadow reaches for the same heights (with uncanny similarity in pitch and tone to Adebimpe) but doesn’t quite get there, possibly because the musical compositions are, more often than not, as lifeless as something from an A-ha elpee, but probably because George W. Lewis sings songs that have all the depth of something from an A-ha elpee, with an English affectation (but he’s from BROOKLYN fer crissakes…thanks, Jack White and Bob Pollard) that makes him sound more Dave Wakeling than Tunde Adebimpe. Honestly, this record sounds like an eleven track tribute to the pop hitmakers of the early eighties, so I gotta ask: WHO THEN IS TWIN SHADOW?

Someone with a fresh set of ears and an unstained mind is gonna enjoy Twin Shadow more than I do.

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