George Lewis, Jr. is Twin Shadow, and among the current revival of all things 1980s, his debut album, Forget, stands high above the pack. Musically, it's a perfect synthesis of the moodier end of Duran Duran and the funkier end of Gary Numan's oeuvre. And there is maybe a dash or two of "Let's Dance"-era Bowie in there, too. But the songwriting is what moves the whole effort beyond pastiche.
Born in the Dominican Republic, Lewis grew up the ultimate outsider in small-town Florida. His unease suffuses the album and yet this isn't a woe-is-me affair. In fact, the melodies carry the day.
There is a heavy dollop of romantic disappointment on this track. "You're my favorite daydream/I'm your famous nightmare," George croons, adding, "Everything I touch goes cold." But the chilly synth tones, handclaps in the rhythm track, and strong bass line perfectly complement the lyrics. This is a fellow who feels he can't catch a break. The album, expertly produced by Grizzly Bear's Chris Taylor, exorcises a number of Lewis' adolescent demons. Rarely has such catharsis sounded so cool and compelling.
On iTunes: Twin Shadow / "Castles in the Snow"
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.