How to Dress Well
Just Once



by cvlts USER (88 Reviews)
July 30th, 2011 | 9 replies

Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Each thing, only once...

How To Dress Well - Just Once

Tom Krell is one vulnerable man. Love Remains put his fragility out for the world to witness and captured our hearts in the process. Achingly full of sorrow and narcotic in its addiction, it showcased the depth of emotion that can be put into music; not so much inviting us into Krell’s mind as it simply put us there in all its glory. However, the biggest concern from Love Remains wasn’t necessarily an overabundance of emotion, drowned out by catharsis, but in the fact that it was almost a too sedated affair to fully appreciate. Recorded in the early hours of the morning in a small space with sleeping roommates just a door away, Love Remains had impeccable atmosphere at the expense of any sort of release for Krell as a vocalist. Enter How To Dress Well’s latest EP, Just Once. Essentially a reworking of select songs from Love Remains, the extended play doesn’t so much start where the LP left off as it basically retunes the pieces.

With a full orchestra backing up Krell, How To Dress Well provides three redone songs with an original piece thrown in so as not to make it entirely a rehashed affair. This time around, Krell seems to have put a bit of studio work into the EP; the songs themselves are much more cleanly produced and Krell’s voice is much more strongly felt, leading every single piece in a more dominant way than in Love Remains. The falsetto highs and triple layered vocal melodies from the reworked “Suicide Dream 1” show just how confident and comfortable Krell is this time around; accompanied closely by a minimalistic piano and violin leads. Just Once is a much more stripped down and bare bones than anything Tom Krell has done previously. Avoiding all the pretense of layers of studio work and complex mixing and mastering, it serves to magnify the fragility already heavily prevalent throughout the body of How To Dress Wells work.

Yet the lack of production is made up for by the orchestration that is present on Just Once. “Suicide Dream 2” starts off fragile enough with a lone violin in stage center, but completely brought to life by a very hauntingly sounding piano and finally encapsulated by the smooth pitch of Krell’s voice. So while Just Once is a more natural sounding record, don’t assume that it is not a fully fleshed out EP… it is. So much so that it’s almost overwhelming at times; “Suicide Dream 3” threatens to loose cohesion all throughout the listen, and is only marginally brought together by the clean string sections.

While Krell’s voice is nearly indecipherable at times, his portrayal of life and death, accompanied by the orchestra is yet another look into his soul. While providing little ideas as to what direction How To Dress Well is going in the future (after all, there really is only one new song on this EP that’s basically a continuation to Love Remains), Krell takes yet another step towards just what exactly he is aiming for in his music. And while we patiently await just what that goal is, we get Just Once: a beautifully composed, aesthetically spartan, four-shot of pure, drug inducing, pieces that will keep us interested in the sanity of Krell and in the future of How To Dress Well.

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user ratings (39)

Comments:Add a Comment 
July 30th 2011


Mike Jones

July 30th 2011


sick, glad this got a review. will read when i'm not at work.

July 30th 2011


re-read this dude, you have some errors. good review, i'll pos.

July 31st 2011


Decisions is my favorite off Love Remains, gotta check this out

July 31st 2011


Album Rating: 4.0

no one cares, dante. fuck you

September 5th 2011


let enrique know when you do know senor

September 5th 2011


love remains is ok

September 13th 2012


wow, talk about being in the minority. whatever, i'm proudly sporting my 4.5 rating.

more people need to hear this.

March 16th 2013



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