Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

How to Dress Well – Repeat Pleasure

No indie R&B outfit is complete without an oversized sweatshirt and the patented grabbing-your-hair pose…


Alfred Soto: The good parts of The-Dream’s “Yamaha” stripped, leaving the grease stain on the asphalt. White kids don’t like R&B because they get this as an alternative. 

Anthony Easton: It’s a little arrogant to promise repeat pleasures when you barely offer any. Also, speak up son, I can barely hear your anemic come-ons. Not everything has to be guttural, but soft seduction has to be a bit audible. Extra point for the sparkly disco curtain, and how it uses the falsetto to speed up the (still boring) production. 

Patrick St. Michel: How to Dress Well used to only make music that was interesting to talk and think about, not really listen to. Songs like this had their moments, but it only inspired me to talk about the fallibility of memories with friends. Not, ya know, dance or anything. “Repeat Pleasure” swings in the opposite direction, being direct and limber and focused on being something worth enjoying, not dissecting. Though cutting into it reveals some great stuff — the handclap percussion, the twinkling synth melody, a brief guitar solo seemingly played in earnest. Tom Krell has been edging in this direction, but now his music looks toward the body before the brain. 

Iain Mew: The musical figure from the intro that keep popping up afterwards sounds just like the segue between parts of Elbow’s “Newborn”. Maybe it’s that familiarity that makes it sound so oddly bolted on to the rest of “Repeat Pleasure,” but the sensation that the song is constantly pulling in different directions isn’t pleasurable.

David Sheffieck: Even on a relatively minor (i.e. not gut-wrenching) track, Krell’s voice can be powerfully affecting. “Repeat Pleasure” stumbles only toward the end, when it surrounds him with enough instrumentation that his heartfelt tones are almost swallowed up.

Jer Fairall: I initially took the title to be ironic, my interest in this elusive outfit’s Total Loss having little to do with pleasure and rarely warranting repeat listening. “Repeat Pleasure,” though, turns out to be almost aggressively sunny, bleached by a shimmer of new age-y synths, a nimble little guitar figure swiped from the Haim school of 80s studio professionalism, and a lyrical sentiment that goads the frequently inscrutable Tom Krell outside of his (dis)comfort zone. The most purely surprising thing I’ve heard so far in 2014, to the point that I might fear that I was overrating it were it also not just so damned pretty.

Crystal Leww: As with most of How to Dress Well’s work (as well as similarly styled Autre Ne Veut), “Repeat Pleasure” is an excellent song shell. However, it leaves much to be desired in the way of a producer that can fill it out with full rather than tinny instrumentation and a stronger singer with a voice that can carry the kind of notes that this demands. Just imagine what this would sound like with an Usher or a Babyface on that “Even broken, my heart will go on!”

Brad Shoup: Here, he pulls his vowels around like Joanna Newsom, but I think she could’ve made the strumming even hammier, and thus better. Mr. Well waits for the finale to bring together the synths, nervy guitar picking, and warm-bath vocals. Suddenly, there’s part of a song where an exercise was.

Katherine St Asaph: I think we’re supposed to take him seriously now? If I forget the context, this isn’t bad. But I can’t forget the context, so half of this reminds me of the Donkey Kong Country water theme, and the other half reminds me how the How to Dress Well project has yet to find an imagined audience besides that guy — he is legion — who brags about wearing Uniqlo and puts James Blake on to make out.

Reader average: [8] (3 votes)

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3 Responses to “How to Dress Well – Repeat Pleasure”

  1. the donkey kong country water theme >>>, always

  2. I’m a little surprised this got as low as it did…this is some very lovely production. I could totally see Babyface running away with this track, though.

  3. I like “song shell”