Twice A Man  is certainly one of the more important bands in the synth music so far.With more than 30 years and 17 albums worth of experience the Swedish arty synth  act declare 'present' with their new album number 18.Dan Soderqvist and Karl Gasleben were joined by Jocke Soderqvist for the first time since 1986.The first line up together again and  the longtime fans  have been looking forward to  their most promising record in recent years.
The new album takes things in a new direction, channeling their history of the more experimental style into a slightly more synth pop and fresh electronic  focus. Not only the music but also the lyrics come to a different direction. While the previous album (Icicles)  referred to the pain of the heart  'Presence' evolves a look into outside world and the madnesss that prevails (economy,religions,fanatism et.c) that poison our world. Titles ( 'A time of terror', 'Black' , 'A world is gone' ) and  lyrics that reflect  the dust and chaos  of our world:

''children dragging their broken bones in the streets
Cracked eyes of men,with no life
Insane cries without end
Reverberate between religious walls.''

But also reflect hope saying that it’s our chance to find the destination,to find the way back to light:

''If you are lost,release the flood,your awakening
You will see,you will hear,a garden of delight
Prepare yourself,don’t be a fool,time is on our side
High in the clouds
Something brings the light''.

It is obvious that Twice A Man are trying to make a transformation happen on this album-from shadows to the sun, from darkness  to light causing mixing emotions.
Favourite tracks include the singles, 'Black' and 'Kick The Earthdrum' ,the club friendly 'Lines' that reaches for a state of dancefloor euphoria,the moody 'Presence' driving you into a melancholic dreamscape and the beautiful 'High In The Cloud' with the echoing female backup vocals that delivers you a wistful melancholy-a powerful conclusion to album.
Twice a Man - High in the clouds from wtpa.se on Vimeo.

After repeated listens, I've come to the conclusion that 'Presence' is a mature effort with bittersweet melodies and simple melancholic songs that touch. The vocals really beautiful and warm. The record's carefully considered aesthetic and meticulous production bear all the hallmarks of the band’s quality work . I believe that this record could be interesting for lovers of quality synthpop!