How to Dress Well

Tom Krell has never been shy about naming his influences. On Love Remains, his How to Dress Well debut, there were pop and R&B acts like Michael Jackson and Bobby Brown. He's no less forthcoming about his inspirations behind his heartbreaking second album, Total Loss.  During a couple of songs he provides a roll call: Mama, Robbie, Nicky, Ryan, Dan,... None of these people are famous, none of these are musicians. They are all real people from Krell's life. Some have died, some have vanished in thin air, others have slowly slipped of his radar. Many of them including himself are struggling with depression. So Total Loss gives you fair warning about what to expect. This album uses the common tools of pop/r&b expression like autobiography, confession, four-minute songs to create a work of devastating art. 

It's melodramatic and over the top, it's worth a gasp and a tear, even if it sometimes is Michael Jackson-worthy, like & It Was U and Running Back. 
Score: A 

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