Twin Shadow – ConfessPosted by Alejandra Ramirez
George Lewis Jr. aka Twin Shadow is probably America’s most underrated heartthrob. Twin Shadow’s first album, Forget, delved into petty stories of love gone bad, and failed romantic gestures. But his debut sounds like a petulant outcry compared to his newest album. On Confess, Lewis paints a misunderstood bad boy gone soft– plagued with conflicting thoughts on love.
No longer the timid 80’s aficionado, Lewis no longer looks to the unconventional dreamscapes of Leonard Cohen or Morrisey as he did on Forget. Instead, he’s looking to the pop masterminds that ruled the charts and stole hearts like Prince and Tom Petty. However, stating that the album is a lost 80’s record would be a ridiculous overstatement. Confess is bigger, brighter, louder, and bolder than anything from that era. The album is Lewis’ definitive pop album, and unlike many artists, he’s very aware of that.
Standing on the album cover with a confident-yet-apathetic demeanor is a bold step towards pop stardom, but don’t take this modern take on 80’s inamorato Billy Idol to heart. Despite embracing the bad-boy attitude: a burly leather jacket and an easy on the eyes smirk, the album is much more intimate than that imagery indicates. Through personal anecdotes, Twin Shadow lays himself bare about the frustrations, desires, and highs of being in love.
This is what really propels Lewis’ songwriting forward. Marked with a confessional honesty, Lewis doesn’t meander through the clichés of songwriting. His sans-affects, natural timbre marked with breathy falsettos only make his candid delivery more believable and establish him as a formidable songwriter. In his songs, “Run to My Heart,” and “Five Seconds,” reminiscent of (dare, I say) Bruce Springsteen, he ventures into intimate songwriting that is accompanied with the gritty power chords of epic ballads.
Yet the heart of the 10-track composition is fueled with the artificial sounds of 80’s new wave. Each song has clarion bursts of euphoric synths that either bubble into happy melodies (“When The Movie’s Over”) or cascade into ethereal chords (“Be Mine Tonight”). The guitar riffs are ridden with delay, reverb, and/or distortion as they swell in and out, such as in “Run My Heart,” or have a certain tremolo quality with a crisp end, reminiscent to the Edge’s guitar tone in “Beg For Tonight.”
Confess is not a tale by strict narrative, but a plethora of memories that encompass a story of love– finding it, losing it, and cherishing it. And in stark contrast to the artificial melodies that encompass Lewis’ howling timbre, his songwriting keeps the album irrevocably humanistic and raw. He reminds the listener that there is beauty in the sadness and madness of love, and that’s ok.