Twin Shadow – Eclipse Rating: 64/100
Released: March 17, 2015
I have a soft spot for artists who unapologetically swing for the fences. It’s intoxicating to hear someone try to live up to their own expectations, even when they miss the mark. On his third album Eclipse, George Lewis Jr. aka Twin Shadow sounds hell bent on performing in front of sold out arenas and though the scale of his work is there, the foundation seems too shaky to support his master plan.
Eclipse occupies hazy territory between the mainstream synth fueled pop rock of Imagine Dragons and the more subtle nuanced touch of indie electronic acts like Washed Out or Passion Pit. The flashes of greatness are blinding on the albums opening track “Flatliners” and the bouncy dance floor gospel of “Old Love/New Love”, but they are exceptions on an album riddled with forgettable tracks that feel simultaneously overblown and undercooked. The man has vision and he comes close to fully realizing it a few times but ultimately the simplest tracks are the ones that stand out on Eclipse.
Every year there seems to be a indie crossover band that makes the leap to the mainstream and Twin Shadow might just be that artist some day. On “Half Life”, a marching mid-tempo synth ballad, Twin Shadow shows he is capable of writing radio friendly melodies undiluted by misplaced grandeur and overproduction. He has a lot of the right instincts to get him to the largest stages in the world but Eclipse feels overpowered by a desire to make the sound bigger and cleaner and more accessible. I have no doubt that Twin Shadow will release a great album one day but Eclipse is not that album.
Top Tracks: “Flatliners”, “Old Love/New Love”, “Half Life”
I started writing record reviews in my college dorm room in 2006 and now I'm all grown up and still can't seem to break the habit. Founder of Compact Discography and co-founder of Compact Culture.
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