How to Dress Well's 'What Is This Heart?' review: Thrilling alt-R&B breakthrough

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How To Dress Well's "What Is This Heart?" album. Photo Credit: Weird World Record Co.

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Tom Krell (aka How to Dress Well) has a voice like Justin Timberlake, a love of James Blake-like electronic simplicity, and open-ended song structure and lyrics seemingly informed by both Miguel and his study of nihilism for his philosophy doctorate at DePaul University.

This mix is as remarkable as it sounds on "What Is This Heart?" (Weird World), giving Krell an alt-R&B breakthrough as thrilling as Frank Ocean's "Channel Orange."

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Krell can do catchy ("Repeat Pleasure"). He can build a gorgeous mood with his fluttering falsetto ("See You Fall"), but his greatest skill is catching you unaware and overwhelming you with emotion as he does on "A Power."


"What Is This Heart?"


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BOTTOM LINE The alt-R&B leader realizes his blurry vision.

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