Love Remains - How to Dress Well
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Love Remains is an immersive experience that transcends its chilliness (and speaker-crackling sonic limitations) through pure emotio.
  2. Jan 28, 2011
    90
    Some have decried the use of clicks and fuzz, but they're surely half the point in this exquisite album-length disquisition on memory and desire, love and loss.
  3. There's no pandering to authenticity here, no appeal to the emotion: Love Remains doesn't drag you into its world with any sort of force whatsoever so much as it places square within it, naked and indifferent.
  4. Love Remains, because of its construction, feels like music that comes from inside, as if the act of listening completes it.
  5. Apr 13, 2011
    80
    It's confounding at first, but the more you strain to hear, the more Krell reels you in. [May 2011, p.88]
  6. Dec 22, 2010
    80
    How to Dress Well has most often been described as a distorted take on R&B, and I suppose that's most accurate, too. Love Remains substantiates the hearsay with slow, soulful requiems that begin to feel like lovingly sculpted effigies of some of the genre's more immortal catalysts.
  7. Dec 21, 2010
    80
    How To Dress Well is certainly not the only contemporary act to use nostalgia as the basis for an aesthetic, but Krell's ideas about the past and our relationship to it seem to be considerably more sophisticated than those of his peers.
  8. Dec 14, 2010
    80
    Despite its conceptual underpinnings, Love Remains never sounds overburdened by theory, which is a real danger for Krell, a guy whose day job involves translating books on Kantian philosophy.
  9. 80
    This debut is a different kind of soul music, as meditative as it is evocative.
  10. Love Remains is a striking debut, one that speaks to how we listen to and remember music we love, and the impact it makes on everything else we hear.
  11. With its haunting risks that resonate, Love Remains is a perfect fall record.
  12. Apr 28, 2011
    70
    Better, Perhaps, to hear How To Dress Well as the latest in a lineage of lo-fi bedroom songwriting dating back to Sebadoh and Smog in the early 1990s, via Alexis Taylor, Antony Hegarty, Jamie Lidell even, and perhaps as far back as Green Gartside, and his would be soul diva falsetto. [Mar 2011, p.50]
  13. Dec 21, 2010
    70
    Love Remains shows that Krell is definitely adept at delivering feelings, but there's more than a couple of tracks that could use a little more personality.
  14. Oct 26, 2010
    40
    Krell succeeds at creating a sonic universe he can call totally his own, but the lo-fi approach, his sharp falsetto, the in-the-red mix, and the foundationless compositions are both exhausting and alienating.
  15. Love Remains has no established coherence, disrespects the meaning of creating a full length from scratch by (reworking?) rehashing material, and frankly, relies too much on Krell's scorching falsettos.
User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 12 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Oct 18, 2010
    9
    A beautiful, hazy morning after to Burial's noirish Untrue, for methis is currenlty battling Salem's much more bombastic King Knight as the years most exciting debut and undoubtedly one of the best releases of the year. I think I'll find it hard to go past 'Ready For The World' as track of the year too, its gentle insistent wooziness has been whirling around my brain for a week now and doesnt seem to be able to find a way out. Dropping off some far corner of the dubstep map, somewhere close to where soul lives, Love Remains gradually reveals all manner of gorgeous vocal hooks and melodies in amongst a smog of distortion, low key ambience and mourning rumbling basslines. Like all the best new artists How to Dress Well reflects potent elements of modern music in a nevertheless unique paradigm. I can't imagine a track like the pulsating live version of 'Walking this Dumb' appearing on too many electronic albums - its the one point the ephemera solidifies. A sad, hypnotic, slightly odd and lovely record with mysteriously warped production and some of this years or any's most enigmatic pop. Far from the sculpted long player being destroyed by track oriented machine music, this year has seen flying lotus, gonjasufi, salem, crystal castles, caribou, pantha du prince and now How to Dress well all create fully realised, detailed, organic feeling albums. An indistinct, wistful vapor of an album, riven with nostalgia and yearning. Full Review »
  2. Oct 21, 2010
    9
    It's always wonderful for anyone to delve into a new fusion of music, and it's even more so when it is done with excellence. Tom Krell's project is an excellent debut with consistent solid musicianship throughout the entire album. His abuse of reverb can sometimes seem of-putting, but it is more prudent to say that it adds to the music's somber tone. At times soulful, at other times heart-wrenching, Love Remains is a spectacular adventure for anyone who isn't a fidelity purist. Full Review »
  3. Oct 15, 2010
    9
    Love Remains is a haunting, beautiful listen -- definitely one of the best releases of the year. Tom Krell, aka How to Dress Well, transforms familiar R&B melodies into foggy memories of love that was possibly lost, but just as possibly may never have been. It's Lynchian in its whispers, crackles and sudden stops, and the lo-fi feedback makes it seem like an intergalactic communication trying in despair to reach earth.
    The record rewards more and more upon each listen and its highlights include: "You Wont Need Me Where I'm Goin", an upbeat R&B track in which Krell offers his girlfriend the fatalistic warning in the title; and the desperation and longing of "Suicide Dream 2" in which Krell's falsetto is put to ample and sustained use. Love Remains is really quite an inspirational listen -- a revelation of how the potentials in modern music continue to expand in seemingly disparate directions. Call it chillwave, lo-fi, dubstep or indie; I just call it a masterpiece.
    Full Review »