How To Dress Well
What Is This Heart? - DOMINO/WEIRD WORLD
FILTER Grade: 76%
By Laura Studarus on June 23, 2014
“What Is This Heart?,” the title of Tom Krell’s third album under the How to Dress Well moniker, isn’t so much a statement as a search, one that he chases across 12 tracks of emotive R & B/pop. Answers are always just out of reach; tracks play like internalized therapy sessions. (Read: homeboy has feelings and you’re going to hear about all of them.) It’s a lot to unpack, statements of self-doubt and passion made all the more penetrating by Krell’s indelible falsetto and liberal use of crescendos. He employs both like weapons over dense beds of swelling strings and spacey synths, the potent combination transforming expressions of uncertainty such as “I don’t even know what’s best for me” from declarations of weakness into triumphant battle cries. The result is one of optimistic discontent. Krell’s heart may be perpetually drug through the dirt, but nothing is going to stop him from looking up.