Big hair, high-waist jeans and new wave pop are all things that belong to the eighties, right? Wrong. These are all things that aren’t hard to find at present, but unlike the first two on that list, George Lewis Jr. brings his take on eighties new wave to the present with a sleek soulfulness that makes for a plain sexy record in Confess.
From the album title, it’s apparent that this is going to be somewhat of an intimate work, and Lewis does not disappoint on this aspect through his prominently poetic songwriting about his trials of love, or lack thereof. On “Golden Light,” the opening track, this front man seems to be modeling his music after other pop giants of the eighties and so the focus rests on his vocals. Waves of synthesizer back him up, interchanging with other electronic elements that build the drama of the music up to the chorus, where it jumps to Lewis belting. It’s an interesting start, as it definitely introduces listeners to his style, but it doesn’t make a lot of bold steps, which all seem to fall later on the album.
Things begin to really pick up from the third track, “Five Seconds,” and from here, Confess flies by in a frenzy of dance-inducing dramatic synthesizer saturated music. “Five Seconds” bursts into action with its memorable electric guitar sound dueling with Lewis’ clear tones, which confess “I don’t believe in you/you don’t believe in me,” and while we are introduced to the idea that love hasn’t come easy for the protagonist of these songs, (“I can’t get to your heart”) we are treated to a delightful track birthed from these woes. Up next is a sinister number in “Run My Heart” which features another explosive chorus from Lewis. He starts out low, and then bellows “This isn’t love,” laden with plenty of emotion and self-assurance and once again, he’ll have you trying to keep up with him through his denunciation of a love and love in general.
But, like a true confession, this album isn’t entirely devoted to bashing love; there seems to be some conflicting feelings about the subject, which can be found on “The One.” This track offers another side in which the protagonist’s love is real and devoted to one person with “something special” about them. In addition to this new dimension, the song has a groovy bass line and faster rhythm that provides for another hit. Such is the rest of the songs; they battle back and forth with how they approach the subject of love, turning into a dramatic pop toss up, but you won’t find a number that is less than interesting.
At ten tracks in length, Confess may seem like a small record at first perception, but after your first listen, it’s apparent that this is a bigger work than it seems to be. So give it a spin and soak up some new-new wave, you may just find yourself dancing right along.
Download: Twin Shadow – Five Seconds [MP3]