Twin Shadow Eclipse
Twin Shadow, aka R&B-tinged mad electro-rock scientist George Lewis Jr., has always had designs on being more than a mere retro revivalist or indie-leaning New Waver. That’s evident on his major label debut Eclipse, which finds Lewis blooming into a powerful mainstream soul-pop vocalist on the level of Sam Smith or Patrick Stump. “When the Lights Turn Out,” the Peter Gabriel-esque “I’m Ready” and especially the Drake-reminiscent standout “Flatliners”—a dynamic, piano-speckled plea about salvaging a fractured relationship—are dramatic, manicured ballads tailor-made for the Top 40. Twin Shadow’s bid for pop’s brass ring sometimes feels generic rather than transcendent, though; the string-laced “To the Top,” in particular, sounds like any number of songs released in recent years. Eclipse’s more oddball moments—the distorted synthrock burst “Watch Me Go,” upbeat ’90s house jam “Old Love/New Love” and “Alone,” a lovely R&B duet with Lily Elise—strike a better balance between innovation and tradition.