Twin Shadow // Confess // July 9 // 4AD
George Lewis Jr. wears his heart on his sleeve but look in his eyes staring at you from his second LP Confess, he’s not happy. “You don’t know my hear, don’t pretend to care” he sings on Run The Heart. His album titles are pretty self-explanatory too. His debut Forget was about regrets, past and something that you can’t change but have to live with instead. Confess meanwhile is much more intimate, able to open up about its troubles and feelings. Twin Shadow writes music about his own life, his feelings, and this time round he manages to get under your skin.
Forget was stuck in the body that was given to it by others. The ridiculous amount of hype from Hipster Runoff made it sound like it was a chillwave record. The sudden Pitchfork interest made it look like another Brooklyn pop LP that no one outside of America should be concerned with. In the middle of it Lewis Jr. painted a surreal character for such clash of images. His intentions were grand and he was an almost a self expressed pin up boy. The most memorable part of his early career was that legendary “Do you like muscle cars?” bit from the Slow video. Confess might still be an indie release on 4AD but it feels like a coming out, a revelation. It’s bigger, bolder, even more ambitious and arrogant than Twin Shadow was ever before. When asked why did he choose to have himself on the cover of Confess he answered by saying that he wanted an attractive male on the to represent the album. Such confidence and swagger is not usually associated with indie synthpop but Confess backs everything up that ties up really well with Twin Shadow’s personality.
George Lewis Jr. has decided to leave his past behind and look forward. The post-punk influenced pop sound of Forget is gone with the past. The new album deals with such new wave sounds that are pretty common in indie music while delivering them with huge theatrics that you would expect from people like Bruce Springsteen. Think of Confess as a stronger, personality driven cousin to Bear In Heaven’s I Love You, It’s Cool. What Confess does with the sound is it merely included more well written hooks but in the end, that’s what makes a good pop record isn’t it? Even though it might sound like George Lewis Jr. is trying to write a concept story about some bikers looking for love or something, Confess is a song album, there’s no interludes or any time wasting, it’s just 10 pop songs, give or take. Confess is the best when it aims for the sky. Golden Light, Five Seconds, Run My Heart are all instant classics while songs like When The Movie’s Over and I Don’t Care take some stumbles along their way. The problem might be that for an album as personality driven as Confess, Twin Shadow doesn’t really make you feel like you’re being confronted by a bike gang member. George Lewis Jr. might keep putting his hard act on for the mic but to pull this off completely he needs to ooze such bad-ass attitude 24/7. Something to work on in the future.
Confess is an all American pop record. It aims for huge arenas and it threatens to pound you in the face. Give or take Twin Shadow’s attitude throughout the record, it’s the constant hooks that make this record one of the best mainstream indie pop LPs of the year so far. The past is forgotten and George Lewis Jr. is now looking at the broad horizon and it’s endless possibilities and with the motorcycle by his side, they’re his for the taking.