Twin Shadow


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Even during Twin Shadow's earliest days, George Lewis, Jr.'s melodies and emotions had a scope that suggested the indie world couldn't contain them; with each album, his music shed another layer of distance and gained more heft. Though he made a bigger leap from Forget's gauzy heartache to Confess' life-or-death power ballads, Eclipse's songs are even more stylized and crystallized, welcoming Twin Shadow's pop leanings into the spotlight with a huge embrace. Like HAIM, Lewis, Jr. revisits and reinvents the anthemic sounds of the late '80s and early '90s, channeling that earnestness into something that feels fresh. The way he fights for love on "To the Top," armed with rippling keyboards, shouted backing vocals, and a chorus that circles and builds on itself, would make Meat Loaf proud; later, the spoken word verse on "I'm Ready" packs just as much drama as its thundering electro-toms and chugging guitars. However, Eclipse isn't as indebted to these '80s sounds as much as it is to the era's emotional tenor, when no-holds-barred emoting was pop's lingua franca. Twin Shadow's unswaying devotion to this kind of soul-baring helps bridge the album's retro and contemporary moments. Eclipse's most modern-sounding tracks are also some of the finest, spanning the dance-tinged "Old Love/New Love," the TV on the Radio-esque "Half Life," and the bleak standout "Watch Me Go," which like Confess' "Patient," shows that Lewis, Jr. has a real flair for adding R&B elements into his music. No matter where (or when) he draws his inspiration from, Eclipse is full of yearning, whether Lewis, Jr. fears being lost in the mix, romantically speaking, on "Turn Me Up," or longs for an overpowering love on the poignant title track. He explores that fine line between being abandoned and consumed with 21st century ambiguity, mixing jealousy and ecstasy on the deceptively bouncy "When the Lights Turn Out" and striking a tone somewhere between hopeful and catastrophic on "Locked & Loaded." While it would be a negative for many artists to shed any pretense of subtlety, Lewis, Jr. stumbles on more toned-down tracks like "Alone," a duet that aims for intimacy but feels out of place with the rest of the album. Though it may not be quite as consistent as Forget or Confess, Eclipse still reflects Twin Shadow's dedication to atmosphere and hooks in engaging ways.

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