We live in a world where seemingly everything is tossed under a microscope, dissected, digested and dissolved. Rarely does ‘art for arts sake’ permeate our consciousness. With this thought in mind, How To Dress Well’s Love Remains (released Sept. 27) succeeds. As a record full of great songs – or even an enjoyable listen – it falls far too short.
Perhaps How To Dress Well’s (real name Tom Krell) blend of grungy, ephemeral R&B tunes are better seen (or “scene”) rather than heard in headphones. Perhaps, too, I am punishing Krell on the success of other artists within this subgenre. But we have been spoiled by better sounds from other DIY artists. We hear better songs from similar solo projects.
The potential is here. This is Krell’s debut effort and he’s also moonlighting as a research assistant. As it currently stands, though, this potential is overwrought by wish-washy reverb and numbing, droning bass.
This record will have its champions. Pitchfork, to name one, is already peppering it with “Best New Music” praise – a stamp that has skyrocketed eclectic (eccentric? esoteric?) art projects into the popular consciousness.
Examine the highlights (“Suicide Dream I”, “Endless Rain”, “You Won’t Need Me Where I’m Goin’”) for yourself and by all means continue to explore if the interest is there.