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December 21, 2014

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CD review: The Twilight Sad

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The Details

The Twilight Sad
No One Can Ever Know
Three stars

The Twilight Sad makes me happy. The band’s bleak, brooding lyrics might not be designed to evoke joy, but delivered in James Graham’s thick Scottish brogue—and wrapped in controlled instrumental cacophony—they always seem to warm my emotions.

There’s something colder about third album No One Can Know, but that’s by design. Graham has spoken of his desire for musical movement, so this time he and his mates have scaled back their intensity for a more measured approach. Where roaring guitars and crashing drums ruled the mix, songs like “Dead City,” “Kill It in the Morning” and standout leadoff cut “Alphabet” pulsate in sonic space. Keyboards are now a key player (think: somewhere between Joy Division’s Closer and The Cure’s Disintegration), and current single “Another Bed” feels downright dancey by Sad standards.

Your reaction to the remade vibe will largely depend on your personal need for noise. I’m sorry to see it fade, but the songwriting remains solid enough—and that accent still goes on for miles.

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