The Twilight Babies

If You Want Me to I Could Write It Down

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In the wake of the trip-hop and shoegazing scenes of the '90s, several bands picked up on both genres and began mixing their attributes into a lush hybrid. One such group is the Twilight Babies, whose debut album, If You Want Me to I Could Write It Down, treads down this path. Offering electronic beats that roll and turn like a sluggish passenger train, the band adds throbbing bass tones, understated keyboards, and versatile guitar work to produce a gorgeous sonic tapestry. The guitar is especially impressive, moving from a warped and muted moan to a loom of neo-folk finger-picking without effort. But what really sets the Twilight Babies apart from most other groups is vocalist Alison Lewis, a seductive crooner who coos tales of fireflies and missed messages with a gripping urgency. It is her voice that injects a melancholy warmth into the otherwise frigid sonic palettes here. At times her lyrics can be trite, although the simple tales of "Forlorn" and "Red Circle" make this simplicity work to their advantage. But several other cuts seem rather vapid when examined lyrically, leaving a few tracks ("Drive" most notably) to suffer. Luckily, Lewis' charming delivery can sometimes mask this problem, an obvious advantage of making music this ethereal. In the end, If You Want Me to I Could Write It Down is a wonderful debut that has its small lyrical problems. But it comes out on top due to the Twilight Babies' mastery of vitreous sonics and ability to put a human face on a typically cold approach.

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