There’s almost nothing tongue-in-cheek about Twin Shadow, just like there was almost nothing tongue-in-cheek about Bob Dylan (Freewheelin‘-era).
Emotion still must be the driving force behind music. Certain “artists” who are apparently “hip” and have great “personalities” are fine and dandy, but please listen to them on your headphones, and spare me such repugnant gregariousness.
People seem to like being insulted. Amidst pitchfork’s year-end best-of list of albums from 2012, you find Death Grips, who make music that is spectacular, meaning being a spectacle. They seem like the type of group that would glare at fans and attempt to befriend people who didn’t like them.
Sharon Van Etten’s Tramp also made the list, which, for how cute and harmless as she is, is actually about as musically hip as Wayne’s World. Country jangle just doesn’t cut it nowadays, sorry, I’d rather listen to Georgia Satellites.
Confess made pitchfork’s “Best New Music,” but then it got left off of the list of albums. But listen to it today, you find that he’s not trying to hard, he’s just a cutting edge sound technician with a love-chip on his shoulder. The pitchfork review of the album really makes you feel like those guys have no blood pumping through their veins whatsoever. Ian Cohen says something like Twin Shadow “really seems like a di**” for saying things like “I can’t believe in love.” It just makes me wish their reviews were shorter, and that they wouldn’t try so hard to be theatrical. There’s way too much music out there, Confess is too balanced, adventurous and disciplined for any credible reviewer to start splitting hairs about semantics.
As for its anatomy, it’s basically what Broken Bells should be — a Ring– (Glasser) like trod through 30 minutes of plangent pop bliss with a clydesdale — not a greyhound on speed and not a tobacco-spitting hillbilly either — at the helm. It’s this sort of midtempo dance music that really gets underrated by pitchfork, and could really go a long way toward making people see what’s right in front of them. Or, maybe that’s the problem with it.