Twin Shadow: Eclipse

review twin shadow x1 cong

It’s good to have an artist making pop for adults, and we’ve been playing Twin Shadow a lot.
The initial impression — for older readers — is John Hughes and Atlantic 252. For younger readers, the latter was an Irish music station broadcasting on longwave, playing American-style radio friendly hits: Richard Marx was on a lot, and John Farnham’s 1986 hit You’re The Voice or John Parr’s St Elmos’s Fire (1985) must be Twin Shadows’ favourite records. John Hughes made teen movies such as Pretty in Pink and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off; this album could offer a soundtrack to any of them. (For hipsters, there’s something of Hurts about it, too).
But after a number of listens, you get past the 80s comparisons and realise this is just very good pop, and it doesn’t sound dated, partly because of its clean production but also because (like 80s pop) it’s just a little over-enthusiastic, and that enthusiasm rubs off. We guess that means that you could equally hate this, but we found it impossible to dislike, even when it goes a bit Boyzone in odd moments.
Opener Flatliners is a proper 80s radio tune, until it got lodged in our head as an earworm, and then we were trying to remember which cool noughties electro-dance band it was from.
All the songs are drenched in sound, Twin Shadow sounds like he’s got a floppy shirt and 80s hair cut, and drum machines keep the beat. When we say we played it a lot, we mean a big lot and it’s only by the third or fourth play-through each day we tire of it.
By rights this should be a huge album: try When The Lights Turn Out, Flatliners, or the close Locked and Loaded (what a song title).

About jerobear

Weekly newspaper editor in Cheshire, England. I blog my editorials and the CDs I write about. I play drums, drink coffee, play music, meditate. I hate filling in forms.

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