MIMO - When Music is Your Fix

Twin Shadow ‘Eclipse’ – Album Review

Warner Bros. (2015)

The first release since his move from cult indie label 4AD over to Warner Bros., Eclipse sees leather jacket-wearing hipster George Lewis Jr., aka Twin Shadow, further embrace his fondness for pomp and bluster on eleven tracks which practically beg to be belted out in front of a stadium crowd.

Packed with super-sized echo-laden drums, chest-beating melodies and melodramatic tales of lost love, the follow-up to 2012’s Confess certainly isn’t afraid to wear its heart on its sleeve, even if it does sometimes veer dangerously close to power ballad compilation territory.

Indeed, lead single “To The Top” is the kind of overwrought love song that you could imagine Michael Bolton shaking his poodle hair to at the peak of his career, while Twin Shadow’s cathartic vocals often resemble Phil Collins at his most bombastic.

But although Eclipse could never be considered subtle, its nostalgic production isn’t always so unashamedly corny. Featuring guest vocals from fellow Zed’s Dead collaborator D’Angelo Lacy, “Old Love/New Love” is a vibrant blend of four-to-the-floor beats, Italo house piano and Chic-esque disco riffs. “When The Lights Turn Out” is a majestic piece of retro electro-pop which recalls early Eurythmics, while “Alone” is a beautifully melancholic, if increasingly bitter, break-up duet with one-time The Voice contestant Lily Elise.

The grimy basslines and brooding hip-hop beats of “Turn Me Up” and the OneRepublic-goes-dubstep opener “Flatliners” also show that the 32-year-old is capable of moving outside his 80s comfort zone.

Fans who preferred the bedroom chillwave of Twin Shadow’s earlier output may be slightly dismayed at his transformation into fist-clenching crooner, but for those seeking the missing link between Blood Orange and Bryan Adams, Eclipse could be their ultimate pet sound.

3.5 / 5 stars     

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About the Author

on MUSIC IS MY OXYGEN WEEKLY.

Jon O'Brien's love of music began as a six-year-old after becoming bizarrely transfixed with the 80s poodle rock of Heart, Europe and Def Leppard. Switching his attention to pop icon Michael Jackson, he then became addicted to the UK Top 40, becoming a rather pointless walking Wikipedia of chart positions in the process. Driving his poor neighbors up the wall while learning to play the drums as a teen, he toyed with the idea of becoming a musician, but in studying Journalism at the University of Central Lancashire, he realized heÕd rather write about music than perform it. Since then, he's written thousands of reviews and biographies on everything from bubblegum pop to death metal, but electronica remains his main passion, with everything from Aphex Twin to Zero 7 in his spare room-consuming record collection. Jon resides in northwest England near Liverpool.

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