Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Beach House: Teen Dream

The disappointment of Midlake was directly countered by the euphoria of hazy dream pop duo Beach House.  I liked their two previous albums, but I wasn't planning on buying Teen Dream (only $6!).  However, when the overwhelmingly positive reviews started to pour in, I decided to take a listen (R.I.P. Lala)... and I was floored!

My biggest problem with Devotion, their 2008 effort, is that Beach House failed to duplicate the sonic success of stand-out track "Gila" on the rest of the album.  Devotion and Beach House's self-titled debut were both released by little-known label Carpark; Teen Dream, however, was released by indie powerhouse Sup Pop (whose stable of artists is a who's who of indie rock).  As was the case with labelmates Blitzen Trapper, the move to SupPop proved monumental, and the band released their best record to date.

I don't want to go overboard here, but as soon as I listened to this album, I knew I'd found one of 2010's best albums less than two months into the year.  There are no throwaway tracks.  Half the album is straight up brilliant.  This album is so good that it makes me worry that they'll never top it -- this may be their masterpiece, and how in the world could they produce another record that's just as solid?  My only complaint is that the album is only 10 tracks, which leaves me wanting more, but for my money, it's nearly a flawless album.  I have a hard time choosing a favorite since I love the entire thing, but here's "Norway":

Grade: A
Blurb: If you need to relax or if you need chill music to listen to while you're reading at a coffeeshop, this may be your best bet.  Seriously, go spend $6 you won't regret (I'm looking at you Midlake!)

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