These days in film there seems to be definitive segment of indie films that have an obsession with the neon drenched days of the ’80s, and in music Twin Shadow would be that equivalent. He has returned with Caer, another album laden with nostalgic leaning synth-pop and power ballads. It’s a formula that I think has had diminishing returns for him since his first novel break onto the scene, but that doesn’t mean that what he puts out here isn’t still enjoyable, because there are some fantastic moments here that elevate far past pure homage and show why he does this style of music better than most everyone else out there. However, for every moment of true brilliance there are moments of head scratching mundanity. It’s a result of a bit of stagnation in his musical evolution; a problem that I think he has all of the tools to address and fix, he just needs to push outside that comfort zone. Regardless of these concerns, Caer is still an extremely smooth listen and another lesson from Twin Shadow in crafting sparkling pop hooks.
Swae Lee just solidified the claim that he's the most talented out of Rae Sremmurd with a project full of lush cruising music and pop/R&B experimentation that paid off far more than one might imagine. Out of all 3 offerings, "Swaecation" is by and far the real standout of the bunch.
Janelle Monáe is at her most authentic self here, but while much of it is about self expression and living your truth, it's still very timely and aware of the larger things happening in our society (protest music you can party to). An album all her own sound that can only be described as 'futuristic funk' - it's sonics are lush, it's synths are bright, and it's bounce is irresistible.
Yes, Tinashe does have a nice voice and yes there are a fair amount of head nodding pop numbers, but once again it was an experience that left me feeling largely indifferent. It checks all the boxes for what a pop album should have but misses out on the soul and personality needed to make it really stand out.
“This could be your last line Care about everything you say This might be the last ride Every road could fall right under our feet I’m sinking to the ocean This will be a lost street”
Have you heard Caer? What’d you think about it? Do you think Twin Shadow’s starting to paint himself into a corner? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to leave your own ratings and reactions for the album.
Twin Shadow – Caer Reaction
On Caer, for every moment of true brilliance there are moments of head scratching mundanity, but regardless of these concerns, it's still an extremely smooth listen and another lesson from Twin Shadow in crafting sparkling pop hooks.