4AD Ever since his 2010 synth-pop sleeper debut Forget blew up like a critical landmine, Twin Shadow mastermind and former Bostonian George Lewis Jr. has been pigeonholed as an '80s-pop revivalist, mostly to his own annoyance. But he's nestled even further into that cushy comfort zone on Confess, his more epic and emotional sophomore effort. Finally using the tools of a proper recording studio, Lewis has brightened and expanded his palette: cranking up the guitars, sweetening the synths, and fattening the low-end. Forget was danceable in an insular kinda way — perfect for a drunken 3 am bedroom stumble. But Confess, even at its most atmospheric, aims to get you on your feet: "Golden Light" opens in an ambient glow reminiscent of Peter Gabriel's So, but it quickly erupts into a saccharine chorus worthy of a Breakfast Club dance sequence, Lewis's aching harmonies hopping over giddy marching-band samples. "I don't give a damn about the scene," Lewis croons on the jittery "You Call Me On." But in spite of his reservations (and the presence of a few throwaway tracks, like the suave-yet-slight "When the Movie's Over"), dude's clearly king of his own '80s-indebted dreamland: "Five Seconds" is Lewis's "Boys of Summer" (with its dark, arena-sized synths) as well as his "Addicted to Love" (dig that hilariously raunchy guitar tone). Meanwhile, the slow-jam make-out piano ballad "I Don't Care" is his "Total Eclipse of the Heart." And with its ridiculous funk-yacht groove, "Beg for the Night" is a bona fide classic: a sexy, swanky anthem that begs to be blasted through your finest speakers while tripping on your most decadent designer drug. Even if he's stuck in the past, Lewis's best songs feel timeless.
TWIN SHADOW | Paradise Rock Club, 967 Comm Ave, Boston | Show moved to September 30 @ 7pm | All Ages | $15 | 617.562.8800