Before reviewing Twin Shadow’s latest release Confess, I felt it appropriate to review his debut album Forget (2010).
If you’re a fan of 80s new wave bands like Depeche Mode or Echo and the Bunnymen, and revivalists who have chosen to emulate this sound (e.g. Pains of Being Pure at Heart) and so on, then you’re probably predisposed to like Forget. Twin Shadow, aka George Lewis Jr., recorded much of the album in hotel rooms, which might partially explain the closeted, eerie feel of many of the songs, but not necessarily. It’s really probably better explained by Lewis’ self-described “lonely” youth growing up in Florida, as his experiences during that time are in large part the basis of this concept album. (Aren’t concept albums the best? Seriously?!)
Forget may not have been intended to be a “concept” album, but it has many of the elements that make albums of this type great; namely, it’s cohesive, effective themes and the sonic landscapes they conjure up. Nostalgia is abundant in all areas, from songs formed with streaming synth, Morrissey-like vocals and disco beats, to the stories being told. “Secret handshakes, the swimming hole,” and other images from Lewis’ youth create a vivid, though fragmented (just like memories) picture of those core crushing and elating moments that seem to glitter even more when recalled as memories: school dances, forbidden romance, the old area where you used to play.
The songs go from slow and dreamy to dance-floor appropriate about half-way through, creating a noticeable shift in pace. Things do however slow down with the final, title track of the album, which would serve well as the song for an end of the night slow dance. “Forget” culminates the album on an unforgettable note with dotted, glittery synths and lyrics that seem to present the paradox inherent in this LP: These are things that Lewis may have wanted to forget, but by crystallizing them in a successful album, forgetting may not come too easy.
- Yellow Balloon
- Tether Beat
- Castles in the Snow