How To Dress Well

Total Loss

Domino • 2012

»The only bad part about flying is having to come back down to the fuckin’ world.« The album’s second track, »Say My Name Or Say Whatever«, starts out with these words. This sentence is relevant to the album in two regards: First of all, it points to a painful personal experience, deep melancholy – sometimes tending to depressions – and the search for meaning, which has coined »Total Loss« and has turned it into a very honest record. At the same time, this very loss of an approach to reality, the search for one’s feed on the ground, is the musical theme of the record. In contrast to his debut, Krell’s arrangements are clearer (even though they might lack catchyness) and brave enough to create structures, which were hard to make out on the previous record. Still, somehow the sharp and high frequented sound appears to be even more tender and seems to be held together only by fragile threads – it is constantly on the verge to escape, and so it’s not surprising that Rodaidh McDonald, who also signed for mixing the last album by the xx, co-produced this record. However, the balancing act between lyrical clarity and musical fragility and vagueness works on »Total Loss«. Critics might be missing a few hits here and there (though one could easily point at »& It Was U«), but »Total Loss« makes Tom Krell get closer to himself and to the home stretch declared on his previous record.