It is fair to say that Twin Shadow (aka George Lewis Jr.) releases the follow-up to his 2010 debut 'Forget' to a rabidly expectant audience of fans and critics alike. 'Forget' heralded the arrival of a serious new talent - Confess confirms that his debut was no flash in the pan and that Twin Shadow is the real deal. While his debut album was a mercurial slice of bedroom synth pop, this follow up is bigger in every way - it sounds fuller, richer, more textured and there is greater urgency to Lewis' song-writing. Much has been made of his fixation with 80s music - Confess is what those 80s pop songs we so fondly remember would sound like if they were actually as good in reality. He eschews the methods of other 80s revivalists who take the Lego approach to recreating the music of that era - you know the type, painstakingly trying to build and replicate that authentic sound, but ending up coming across like a bad pastiche complete with dodgy haircuts. The Twin Shadow sound arrives fully formed - it is firmly rooted in the feel of 80s music but it is difficult to pin down exactly who the influences are.
There are fleeting hints of the music of the Blue Nile, Don Henley, Peter Gabriel and Prince contained within these tracks, but just when you think you have Twin Shadow tagged, Lewis takes these wonderful songs off in another direction completely. 'Five Seconds' has one of those naggingly insistent riffs that buries itself deep in your skull while 'Patient' illustrates that comparisons to the genius of Prince are not without some substance. 'I Don't Care' sums up Lewis' lyrical preoccupations best with its chorus refrain 'As long as you can dance me around the room while you lie to me'.
After a slow start to 2012, the last three months has seen some truly wonderful albums released. Confess by Twin Shadow can be added to that list, a sure-fire contender for album of the year. This is lovingly crafted, pop brilliance at its best. It cannot be too long before the world wakes up to one of pop music's best kept secrets.
Review by Paul Page