Twin Shadow (George Lewis JR.) released his debut
album on September 28th. Produced by Grizzly Bear's Chris
Taylor, the addition of the indie-rock star shines on Forget.
Lewis' silky voice floats on top of the album's sparkling production,
a dark and hazy mix of midnight conversation and 1980's glamour.
Glossy vocal harmonies, chorus-laced guitars, analog strings,
jittery arpeggios that climb up and down, and of course that booming
snare reverb, are the familiar sounds from the decade of lava
lamps and leg warmers that comprise the album's eleven tracks.
"Slow" is an Eighties gem, illuminated by twinkling
synthesizers and a ricocheting guitar lead. "I Can't Wait"
explodes into a breakdown reminiscent of The Bangles and
awkward middle-school dances, while the percussion in "For
Now" adds an exotic and unexpected flair. "Tether Beat"
performs as the album's finest, as eerie strings slink behind
an inquisitive chorus, "does your heart still beat?"
The kick drum seems to answer.
Forget is a narrative of struggle and heart-break. Lewis
begins with an account of adolescent mishaps, "and when you
were fifteen I know what you said \ I'll never let another black
boy break my heart." Lewis' youthful foils still haunt, for
despite the implications of the album's title he has yet to "forget".
"Why can't we try again?" he begs on "Slow".
"You're my favorite day-dream" Lewis admits on "Castles
In The Snow". The introspective lyrics compliment the album's
niche sound, a landscape fitting for a confrontation of the past.
Yet despite Lewis' apparent efforts to remain retro, there is
a sense of maturity and modernity that places Forget years
beyond its stylistic confines. Forget is not a petty, adolescent
quarrel or an obsessive rant from a middle-aged romantic. Instead,
Lewis offers perspective through a settled lens, shedding wisdom
on his troubled youth that results in a detached, third person
recollection often making Forget feel more like his fifth
release than his first. Yet, despite the enlightened voice, Forget
remains unresolved; as the album comes to a close Lewis whispers
a confession, "this is everything I've wanted to forget".
But it seems the forgetting has yet come, perhaps because as Lewis
painfully reminds us, "sometimes time's so slow".
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