Twin Shadow – Forget

written by: November 15, 2010
Twin Shadow - Forget album artwork Release Date: November 15, 2010


Under the moniker Twin Shadow, George Lewis Jr. jumps back a few generations and epitomizes true nostalgia with his delicately crafted, but confidently delivered debut Forget.

Despite the misleading name, Lewis has clearly not forgotten the wellspring of his specialty, as he draws on ‘80s influences, such as electro-pop pioneers Soft Cell and Depeche Mode to shape tracks. However, he removes the novelty from the best brand of sound and replaces it with detailed musical elements.

Guided by the careful hand of Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor, the result is a beautiful melding of guilty pleasures and artistry that can be enjoyed at a passive listen, but has the potential for favorite album status.

Perhaps, the most impressive thing about Lewis is his comfort with his work. As a debut album, Forget plunges fearlessly into a unique and structured sound that could potentially shut Lewis out of musical circles before he was even admitted. His influences are obvious and deliberate, and this lack of mystery can be somewhat dooming before it begins. He avoids the fate of just another niche-filler with an easy confidence.

Lewis sounds polished and delightfully passive in his construction. His synthesizer orchestra nearly drifts out of speakers, taking moments to float around the room before disappearing into the next ambient track.

The album begins dramatically with the droning and ominous “Tyrant Destroyed.” Coupled with lo-fi tweaks and chirps, the song is a slow opening to the Pandora’s Box of funky and almost frustratingly lovely compositions featured on Forget. The album is a slow-opening bloom.

Brights get brighter and slow jams groove more epically as it progresses, culminating with the guitar-laden title track that ends the album.

As a song, “Forget” is completely free of any of the drone that grows less frequent on the album as it moves forward. Instead, the track is free to swirl and dance in all of its saccharine glory. Even during its flightiest forays, the song remains grounded by impressive bass lines and distorted guitar, demonstrating Lewis’ willingness to keep non-electronic and electronic instruments working side by side.

Lewis executes Forget with a certain amount of melodrama. Often the songs sound like what the soundtracks would be if John Hughes turned to the avant-garde side of teenage romantic comedies – if those actually existed. This creates  a bit of a campy side to the album.

As a result, Forget is at its best with unabashed dance tunes like “Shooting Holes” and “At My Heels.”

The very nature of the songs makes it impossible for Lewis to seem like he is taking himself too seriously, removing the element of discomfort that can lurk in the back of listeners’ minds during slower songs.

Twin Shadow has emerged with ‘80s influences proudly displayed with the same kind of pride that Generation Y must have felt wearing neon workout clothes. Lewis created a shockingly familiar and nostalgic reversion to the roots of electronic music.

The question is if Forget can gather the same kind of following as its notoriously catchy forefathers.

Forget Tracklist

  1. Tyrant Destroyed
  2. When We’re Dancing
  3. I Can’t Wait
  4. Shooting Holes
  5. At My Heels
  6. Yellow Balloon
  7. Tether Beat
  8. Castles In The Snow
  9. For Now
  10. Slow
  11. Forget