Beach House – Teen Dream Review

I’ll spoil it for you. Teen a good album. In fact, its a pretty dang good. A lot better than I expected. It’s good enough, that it will without a doubt grace many peoples best of 2010 lists in December. I would imagine it’s appeal will only grow as more and more people are able to hear it.If you haven’t heard it: do yourself a favor.

Beach House have managed to harness aspects of, The XX, Bands of Horses, Dr. Dog, Jesus and Mary Chain, and Grizzly Bear and combine them to make a dreamy collection of pop songs. The songs are catchy and fun to listen to while maintaining a surprising amount of seriousness. The lyrical layers are there, though often drenched in echo and reverb, and crooning along is going to be something I do all year.

The album begins as cool and calculated as it ends. Both the opening and final tracks seem to be just those, bookends to a dream. The opening track, Zebra, introduces you to the sound of the album and slowly picks up from there. The closing tracks, Real Love and Take Care, unwind you for a glorious send off back to reality. Everywhere in between is what it needs to me. Meticulously crafted pop sometimes bordering on the psychedelic, always sounding great.

The high points are tracks four (Walk in the Park) and eight (10 Mile Stereo). These tracks are flawless in their construction and placement within the confines of the album itself. 10 Mile Stereo is an amazing song with lackadaisically sung somber lyrics over a programmed drum line that couldn’t fit better with the tone of the album. Walk in the Park has an absolutely infectious chorus that will ensure this album pumps through my headphones for months to come.

The album exhibits a kind of perfect yet elegant construction, similar to Grizzly Bear’s Veckatimist. Everything sounds like it took a long time to plan, there are so many layers, so many moving parts all shifting in unison to pull off this teen dream, but they are able to do it without thinking twice. This type of record could easily come across as forced or contrived. Instead, what comes across is a young band who is already a master of their craft. It will be great to see them live and to see what their future outputs sound like.

Rating: 4.3/5.0


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