Album Review

Confess

Confess

By Twin Shadow

4AD
8.5 / 10
2nd July, 2012

By Courtney Sanders

When Franz Ferdinand’s debut album came out it was hard to believe that four straight Glaswegians had written consecutive tracks of homoerotic sexiness, chiefly ‘Michael’, but also the appropriately titled ‘Darts of Pleasure’ and excellent single Take Me Out’. It’s less difficult to comprehend a manicured, tasseled-leather-jacket-wearing hipster could be similarly inclined, and thus Twin Shadow’s debut album Forget arrived in 2010 appropriately drenched in disco dance appeal. What is surprising is that with sophomore album he has actually managed to write a set of bigger, sexier hooks.

If one were to write a film adaption of Confess, it would go something like this: George Lewis Junior lies around in a room furnished with expensive furs and mirrored walls, in which dancers sashay around him in a flurry of flapper-y feathers and fishnets. He has a heady, fleeting romance with each of them – insert blurred city lights and the downing of expensive cocktails here – that each end terribly. He draws the red velvet curtains of his lush apartment and muses on said romance for some time. He is played by Ewan McGregor in Moulin Rouge (the good times) and Judd Nelson in The Breakfast Club (the bad), and as the credits roll we don’t know whether to LOL at, or fall totally in love with his earnest, self-awareness.

So, whether you love it or hate it, one thing you can’t do is avoid it. Lewis Junior is obsessed with two things and two things alone: love, and the eighties. Album opener ‘Golden Light’ makes his intentions immediately clear with canyon-sized synths and the lines “You’re the Golden light / And if I chase after you / Doesn’t mean that it’s true”, before devolving into breathy, twinkly ‘”I’ll follow you”, and more synths. “I’m trying to dream but there’s no-one to take me there / I vote for you” (for real) opens second track ‘You Call Me On’ with some serious bootybass, handclaps, and (lots) more synth, while lead single and third track ‘Five Seconds’ gives Simple Minds a run for their money as most appropriate band to soundtrack a John Hughes film: “five seconds to your heart / straight to your heart”. I get the feeling Lewis Junior really loves, love, guys. If this triptych of swoon isn’t enough to convince you, have a listen to him smashing glass and singing “I’m just a boy and / You’re just a girl” in ‘Run My Heart’ with ample Ric Ocasek guiter and breathy spoken vocals. Need further convincing? How about the fact that he is not in love in ‘The One’, is in love in ‘Beg for the Night’ (A.K.A ‘Don’t You Forget About Me’) and wants to be in love in ‘Patient’ with someone who punishes him, but is always letting him fall? And that’s just the album. Check out the video clip for ‘Five Seconds’ in which he - wearing a highlighter helmet and mocassins no less - rides a motorcycle into the sunset to casually fight some crime, then take a look at his press photos: all Prince-evoking fur jackets, turbans, and spine-tingly gazes (just me?).

Some people will undoubtedly discount Confess for the narrowness and obviousness of its influences, but Lewis Junior’s appropriation is so unashamed and results in such a solid, euphoric album (even hidden track ‘Mirror in the Dark’ is massive) there will be few able to resist the Twin Shadow charm.

Twin Shadow - Five Seconds by The Vinyl District






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