A Change in Sound and a Change in Heart: How To Dress Well's 'Care'
  • WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2016

  • Posted by: Nick Chow

RATING: 3/5



Comparing How To Dress Well's new album, Care, to his three previous albums, it is clear that Tom Krell has been moving away from the experimental sounds of Love Remains and towards a very unique blend of electronic pop and R&B. Care showcases his newfound style through songs about his thoughts on romance, anxiety, and the difficulties of caring for yourself and for others.

Everything starts with the song "Can't You Tell." It begins with a fun opener and is a perfect example of how to incorporate sex grunts into music without it sounding too weird. Krell wants to "take you there," which actually caught me off guard when I realized it because it isn't slow and sultry like other songs about heavy petting. It's actually the exact opposite. It's bright and poppy, and it totally works. Lyrics include: "Want to throw you down and take you right there. Yeah I want it, but I want it when you want it baby." Thank you, Tom Krell, for promoting consensual sex. Blast this song everywhere to ward off all the stupid men in the world, please and thank you.

The other two songs that stick out are "What's Up" and "Lost Youth/Lost You," which seem to play off of each other. The former is a cute song about the work you need to do to keep someone's love, while the latter is about losing that someone and not knowing what love is. Together, they compare the optimistic hopes for a relationship in the beginning to the heart-crushing pain at the end of one.

Now, I could stop here and say that those three songs together create a pretty solid summary of what How to Dress Well's new sound is capable of musically and lyrically, but there are a bunch of other great moments in this album. Krell begins to adopt a Weeknd-esque sound in "The Ruins" and shows us how badass his music can be. In "I Was Terrible," he beautifully breaks out into a short electro-pop jam with his falsetto gliding over a slow power ballad-like drum beat.

The songs may run a little too long for people who are used to pop songs only lasting three minutes, making it possible to lose focus on what you're listening to sometimes. If you're willing to give your attention to this album though, you'll have a fun experience.
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