Twin Shadow – Confess
After debut Forget had us falling headlong in love with Twin Shadow’s intimate synth-pop, it’s hard not to approach Confess with second-date jitters. It takes opener Golden Light mere seconds to steady the nerves and renew the crush, as soft wash synths blend with George Lewis Jr.’s tender croon to striking effect.
Lead single Five Seconds stokes emotions higher: a heart-bursting, air-punching, blood-rush anthem driven by addictive Billy Idol-esque guitar chugs, it encapsulates the album’s romantic, new-wave aesthetic and electrifies the senses. Elsewhere, ennui informs bittersweet ballads like Run My Heart (“you can’t run my heart/don’t pretend you can”) and the gorgeous I Don’t Care (“dance me round the room and lie to me”), while The One matches candid amour with a melody straight outta John Hughes.
Other peaks include Beg for the Night – as suave and seductive as Gosling in a scorpion-adorned sports jacket – and Patient, which adds vintage Prince and a bitchin' guitar solo to the palate. But the word ‘peaks’ is misleading: it implies corresponding troughs, of which there are none, the slight patchiness of his debut decisively remedied. Some will no doubt argue its retro-locked horizons are frustratingly narrow; the rest of us will clasp it close. [Chris Buckle]