Published Apr 24, 2018Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist George Lewis Jr, also known as Twin Shadow, is recognized for his alternative approach to '80s synth-pop. His 2010 debut, Forget, made an impact in the indie pop scene with electronic hooks that stay with you and scaled-back production that begins to forge a distinct sound. Since then, Lewis's fixation of nostalgia has diminished into an uninspired rehash of old school synth-pop on his fourth studio album, Caer.
Many of the tracks leave very little in the way of first impression, making the experience underwhelming. Tracks like "Brace" do not transmit a lot of ambition, with slow build-ups that don't amount to much; add in Auto-Tune vocals on "Little Woman," and the album feels synthetic. "Saturdays," featuring HAIM, is a weak approach for a collaborative track, with muted guitar strums and melodramatic lyrics ("Maybe we're a phone line ready to break / Maybe you're a time bomb"). The final verse by the indie rock trio slightly pulls everything together, giving the song a little more character.
Caer delivers the basics of a decent album, with some moments that become very slow and moody, and there are also tracks that show Lewis's skills as a songwriter. Lewis is a captivating vocalist, in terms of projecting an emotional performance on tracks like "Littlest Things" and "When You're Wrong." Accompanied by danceable bass lines, these are songs very reminiscent of his early work.
For a 13-track album, the majority is forgettable and doesn't live up to the colourful elements of Lewis's previous releases. The lack of energy on Caer leaves a longing for more originality and creativity he has once given us. (Reprise)