2012 has been a year of ambition and musical risks with artists going out on a limb, trying something new, and not looking back. Strangely enough, on many of these occasions, the result has been something garnering personal acclaim as opposed to just brushing it off as a isolated incident that will never in any way see a continuation later on. One of the most prominent records in this new category filled with the over use of ambience, twee, and 80s throwbacks has to be coincidentally the ultimate 80s throwback, Confess by Twin Shadow, the name that the talented George Louis Jr. records under.
In this frantic, fictitious world George Louis Jr. has turned into a reality, there are very brief breakthroughs of sanity in what seems to be a world filled with absolute chaos. If the person who's supposed to be in these songs is the same one portrayed in the artistic music videos for "Five Seconds" and "Patient", then it would make sense; he's not exactly a person I'd put my faith in. He pushes his luck like it's no big deal, he lives a reckless life and he knows it, and he'll turn on his buddies over trivial matters. The seemingly hopeless setting that comes across in the music is one filled with rebellious motorcycle gangs who fight against something they don't know they're fighting, people reflecting on their hopes and ultimately their regrets, and the reformation of character that all lost souls go through at one point. The story that surrounds Confess is absolutely fascinating, and it sucks the listener in and makes them demand for more.
Lyrically, I feel that it is a reflection on George Lewis Jr. himself. In interviews while talking about the album, he stated that the fast life he'd been living had caught up with him to the point where he became afraid of death, making it a highly personal record. You can feel the pain he's going through, and at times, you really believe he's the man in his lyrics, and that's what this album does best; it forces you into its world.
Musically, there's an abundance of energy and passion topped off with a very dark aura. Opening with the addictive "Golden Light", it teases the listener into thinking that the music will be overly uplifting. But if you really look into it, get into the mood and just get lost in the concept, then it's definitely not an upper. "Run My Heart" and "You Call on Me" are both very curious, angst filled songs that feel right out of 1987, whereas songs like "Patient" seem powerful, yet cold. And do I need to even talk about the fantastic "Five Seconds"? That song is basically the definition of perfection. It's a completely bipolar record, which gives it so much charm that many records today lack.
I recommend this album to everybody for repeat listens. For my own personal experience, I thought it was alright after the first listen. But after a second time around, I knew what to expect, which amplified the enjoyment that comes with Confess. I can only hope that George Lewis Jr. continues to make music of this quality, and continue the fascinating story that Confess chronicles.
B. W. Everett 04/08/12
1. Golden Light
2. You Call Me On
3. Five Seconds
4. Run My Heart
5. The One
6. Beg For The Night
8. When The Movie's Over
9. I Don't Care
10. Be Mine Tonight