How to Dress Well is the alias of Tom Krell, a Chicagoan who rose to acclaim in the late 00s as a maker of glitchy, ethereal electronica. On Care, his fourth LP, the slightly opaque experimentalism of his old, intriguing material such as Ready for the World is substituted for a more conventional pop sensibility. It’s a direction he began moving in with 2014’s What Is This Heart? , but here Krell takes it further – sometimes into the realms of pop at its most irredeemably schmaltzy. Liberated from layers of distortion, Krell’s falsetto is now centre stage, backed by routine grooves and realised in melodies that feel instantly familiar. It’s a similar sound to Bastille’s, but you might find yourself craving that band’s wit and kookiness: even with a liberal sprinkling of just-so production tics – and some nauseatingly navel-gazing lyrics (“I want to learn to care for my soul”, Krell wails on Salt Song) – Care is a rather mundane package.
How to Dress Well: Care review – a step into irredeemable pop schmaltz