George Lewis, Jr., the wizard behind the magic that is Twin Shadow, has already been hailed by many as the “black Morrissey,” and while his Dominican Republic heritage would technically make him the Latin Morrisey, the comparison is not too far-fetched. He’s got the heartbreaking croon, the bold and gravity-defying hairdo, the melancholy-meets-merry melodies and lyrics, and the foothold in all things eighties. His debut album, Forget is one whopping promise of a gorgeous future in music, but one great album and a groovy hairdo does not a Morrissey make. Lewis Jr. stands on his own merit and sticks out as a well dressed, mustachioed composer of top grade soulful, synthy pop music.
Twin Shadow embodies all of the lush instrumentation, synthesizer love, and indefinable rainy neon night mood of ’80s artists like The Smiths, Thompson Twins, and The Psychedelic Furs. There’s a deep sense of nostalgia in the music — the punk fans roaming the streets in their leather jackets and Converse sneakers in the video for “Castles in the Snow” speak of nostalgia pretty loudly. It’s a look back, but one done with sincerity rather than cheekiness or lack of imagination.
Opening with the quietly building “Tyrant Destroyed,” the Terrible Records release eases you in with a whisper, only beginning to peel back the layers of pop on the next track, “When We’re Dancing,” a song that also reveals the higher register of Lewis, Jr.’s vocal range.
In its entirety, Forget is one of the best albums to come along in 2010, but a few key moments poke their heads above the rest. The aching ballad “I Can’t Wait,” the disco electro beauty that is “Shooting Hole at the Moon,” the dark and gorgeous “Castles in the Snow” that evokes the same spine chills that Gary Jules’s cover of Tears for Fears’ “Mad World” does, and the high school teen movie-ready “Slow” with its chorus of “I don’t wanna, be, believe, in love.”
Cher’s on the cover of Vanity Fair, Gary Numan’s on tour, and Duran Duran have got a new album coming out next year. Maybe it is still the ’80s and Twin Shadow just realized it before the rest of us!
Twin Shadow: www.twinshadow.net