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Album Review: Twin Shadow by Twin Shadow

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George Lewis Jr., or better known by his stage name, Twin Shadow, is a singer, songwriter, and producer based out of Los Angeles. While he had some career beginnings in the early 2000s, it wasn't until he went solo and released a solid run of albums in the 2010s. He now comes out with his fifth studio project titled Twin Shadow.

The first track from the project is Alemania. If you watched the podcast episode, you will know that Twin Shadow has been on my listen list, but I haven't had a chance to listen to a project. Now, I finally have that chance and I'm not disappointed. It opens up with an acoustic guitar, but eventually adds on some other layers. Before the bass part came in, the way his vocals were muffled almost reminded me of Phil Collins' In The Air Tonight. Other than that, I'm really digging the choice of instrumentation and some of the electronic features they were able to tie in with some of the more classic instrumentation.

Sugarcane opens up with some interesting electronic guitar and synth parts. Once that cuts out, we just get a guitar, bass, and the vocals. I was hoping we would get more of the instrumentation at the beginning, but it seems it's only used before each verse. Besides that, it's not necessarily a bad track, it just feels a bit underwhelming during the verses and chorus. Lyrically, he talks about how this girl tastes like sugarcane, which could be a sexual reference, or that he just likes her.

Johnny & Jonnie opens up with a fun guitar and bass part. After doing some digging, it sounds a lot like Bankrobber from The Clash, since I knew I heard that lick before. Other than that, I'm loving the added brass and other synths that start to build the track up. Even the brass solo in the middle just makes it that more interesting and fun to listen to. As for the lyrics, I don't think it really has any special meaning, just a fun track for George to make.

Get Closer is another fun track that opens up with what sounds like some inaudible vocal humming. We also have a fun drum beat backing it in the background. Eventually George's vocals start to come in, and it sounds like a little more emotion is added to this track. The original instrumentation cuts out for a more guitar and string focused section for the chorus. Lyrically, it looks like it talks about a struggling relationship and he doesn't want to progress until she takes it more seriously.

Is There Any Love has a groovy bass line to give the track more of a funk-vibe. We also get a chorus of people helping Twin Shadow during the opening chorus. Besides the instrumentation, the lyrics are pretty basic and minimal at most. Just looking at the lyrics and listening to the lyrics, they don't really change up that often. After the first two verses, they repeat, "Is there any love in this world?" While it does sound like a fun little track, digging into the first two verses, it sounds like he's talking about all the horrible things that have happened in the world and if any people are still loving or full of compassion.

Gated Windows starts off with a quiet electronic bass sound. As the track progresses, I'm getting a very eerie vibe from the bass and other sounds that are intertwined. At first the vocals sounded a bit out of tune with the bass, but I can find some similarities between the two. I'm not really too sure what he's trying to hint at through the track, but I'm sure it has some political motive to it, especially when he mentions the "red, white, and blue."

Modern Man marks the shortest track on the album, just over two and a half minutes in length. It opens up with a quiet piano, synth, and guitar part. George's vocals also come in after a bit, but the instrumentation doesn't really grow that much from the get go. Judging by the lyrics of this track, he has progressed and learned from his past mistakes, but the person he is with still doesn't think that highly of him.

Lonestar seems to build up the intensity a little bit more. We are greeted with a light flute, some guitar parts, and surprisingly a deep bass. The instruments eventually go away for a bit once George starts singing. We also have a small reggae feeling going on with the off-beat guitar after the first chorus section. The track seems to progress from the last track lyrically, especially at this point he says it's okay to be alone.

Brown Sugar opens up with an electronic percussive beat, which almost sounds like a metronome. We also have some other high pitched electronic notes floating around. We also get some tropical guitar sounds come in once the chorus starts to brighten up the track. It's a pretty catchy track, but I'm not sure what he's trying to go for with the meaning of the track. He just talks about how vampires want to taste the 'brown sugar'.

The final track we have on the album is I Wanna Be Here (Shotgun). It seems like a short track to close out the album since it's under three minutes, but most of the tracks have been that way. Some of the instrumentation from previous tracks come back for this, especially the brass section which seems to bring a lot of energy and emotion to the track. It definitely seems like an uplifting track for the closer since he talks about wanting to be here for this person.

For my first glance into Twin Shadow, it's definitely not a bad album to start with. There are some dull moments when we get to the middle of the album, but it has a lot of tracks that I will be revisiting throughout the year.
Overall Rating: 7/10
Favorite Tracks: Alemania, Johnny & Jonnie, Lonestar, I Wanna Be Here (Shotgun)
 
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