George Lewis, Jr. is a romantic anti-hero. Fact.
That much is evident throughout the narrative of his sophomore album, Confess.
On tracks like “When the Movie’s Over,” “I Don’t Care,” and “When the Movie’s Over,” Lewis establishes his ambivalent views towards love and loss. And as I alluded to earlier this year when I wrote about The Good Life’s Album of the Year, Lewis’s lyrics will hit home for anyone who’s ever been in a bad relationship they couldn’t seem to get out of.
The imagery he crafts is visceral to the point of personal uncomfortability. On “I Don’t Care,” he writes about his involvement with someone who has a promiscuous past, but one he is drawn to:
Before the night is through,
I will say three words.
I’ll probably mean the first two,
and regret the third.
I don’t care.
But by saying “three words,” he leaves open the possibility for a three-word phrase that is the antithesis of ‘I don’t care’: “I love you.”
On “When the Movie’s Over,” Lewis writes of the inevitability of a failed relationship, and how he no longer feels the same – but won’t let it sink in until it’s said and done (“I’ll cry when the movie’s over”).
It’s this listlessness, the desire to cut and run at the smallest problem, the opposition to commitment, the lack of vision for the future with someone, and the dubious nature of being labeled as the “player” because of never being able to settle down. All these are fairly common aspects of a relationship between two young people still figuring out who they are, and it’s such a common feeling that it’s almost impossible not to relate to what Lewis is saying.
Not to mention that the music is wild, 80s-inspired pop nostalgia. The mix makes for one of my favorite releases of the past 2 years, and one that I spun constantly through the throes of significant other turmoil.
I’ve also alluded to the “Retro Electro” revival and how much I’m enjoying the dedication to reinventing that sound. As an 80s kid myself, I still get my kicks out of 80s music. It was a decade of some of the cheesiest pop music, hokiest wardrobe decisions, and questionable politics, but I’ll be damned if I’m not still drawn to the sounds that were borne of the death of disco.
That the music of Twin Shadow calls on the influence of Billy Idol and Erasure is even more reason to geek out over retro flair. Not quite vintage yet, but close enough.
From Confess, this is “When the Movie’s Over” –
Standout tracks: “Golden Light,” “Five Seconds,” and “I Don’t Care”
Weakest track: “Mirror in the Dark”
RIYL: Wild Nothing, How to Dress Well, Future Island. Synth pop, neo-wave, lo-fi 80s nostalgia.