Oct 14, 2010 Issue #33 - Fall 2010 - Interpol
George Lewis, Jr., aka Twin Shadow, is a Dominican-born small-town Floridian who found his way to Brooklyn, a sensible home for a multi-instrumentalist musician type accused of packing Phil Lynott's hair and Simon Le Bon's voice. Forget features Grizzly Bear's Chris Taylor in the role of producer and label operator, no doubt an added turbo boost for this fashionable fella already circumnavigating the blogosphere.
Forget is very much an '80s affair, full of chorused guitars, 808 drum machine sounds, big ol' synth stabs, and Lewis' distinct croon. It recalls the production and glamour of Duran Duran, the sly dance music of Pet Shop Boys or New Order, the heavy-hearted synthpop of Depeche Mode, maybe early OMD—and the stuff all those bands were taking in, notably Germans werking the kraft. Call it "chillwave" or "glo-fi" if you must. Actually, please don't.
Opener "Tyrant Destroyed" opens up with a Nabokov nod and some romantic tough love, and really could have appeared on Depeche Mode's Violator. "When We're Dancing" picks it up from there, taking things mellow-like over to the dance floor for Spandau Ballet. "For Now" is serious Duran Duran deep-cut content. "Castles in the Snow" is a pick for the hit, with more modern drum programming, great bass and guitar lines, and big doubled choruses such as "You're my favorite daydream/I'm your famous nightmare."
Twin Shadow wears his influences squarely on his aural sleeve, and more power to him-it's some rich source material, and those influences are part of the indie zeitgeist, as the modern/retro dividing line moves swiftly forward. Besides, Lewis wears it well-he's a solid songwriter, and most of these tunes, stripped of those trendy and nostalgic arrangements, would hold up just fine. (www.twinshadow.net)
Author rating: 7/10
Average reader rating: 9/10