Album Review: Twin Shadow - 'Caer' (Warner Bros/Reprise)
Twin Shadows formulaic classic 1980's power pop approach does not deviate on Caer.
Dominican American musician, producer, and actor George Lewis Jr aka Twin Shadow established a formula early on in his career, which he honed pretty quickly by the time 2012's 'Five Seconds' came out and exposed him to a wider audience. Twin Shadow's fourth full studio release is titled, Caer, which means "to fall" in Spanish. The idea of falling is one of surrender, which is something Twin Shadow never seems to do in his musical direction.
However, the title seemingly refers to themes present on Caer,rather than musical palette, as Lewis Jr said of the album in a press release “...patriarchy is falling apart. Our perceptions of who we are as human beings, because of technology and machines, are falling apart. We’re living at a breaking point, and a lot of the themes on the album are talking about these fault lines.”
Rigidly though, on Caer, he sticks to his formulaic approach with the 80's and 90s pop/r'n'b references, use of drum machines, vintage synths and cathartic channelling through a broken heart when making music. Four albums down the line we're still waiting for a newer or fresher 'Five Seconds' or another banger. Nothing post-2012's Confess has ever matched 'Five Seconds' in its immediacy. That's not to take away credit where it's due, from everything else created by Twin Shadow, as he's still considered as one of pop music's most innovative forces.
George Lewis Jrexperiments with collaborations again on Caer, like he did on 2015's Eclipse. Well-matched HAIM feature on second album track 'Saturdays'. This being the closest that Caer gets to 'Five Seconds' in its 80's power drive rhythm guitar, and happy-sad chorus/verse method, and a subtle attempt at channelling Don Henley's 'Boys Of Summer'.
An album gem is the slow-jam of 'Obvious People' which trajects the best element's from 90's Prince staccato vocal delivery and cooler than cool attitude, eventually building to a crescendo with subtle classic rock guitar screams and the dreamiest of retro-wave synth melodies. Caer is a meandering and fairly mopey LP, with only a few uplifting moments such as 'Saturdays'. George Lewis is noted as an introspective songwriter but there are some real downcast moments on his fourth LP.