Beach House
Teen Dream

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I will be honest, I was aware of Beach House before Teen Dream but not necessarily familiar with their music. It wasn’t until this album came out that I went back and checked out the band’s previous two albums.

I have to say it was nice not to have any expectations whatsoever and to go into this album with an untainted perspective. What was immediately apparent after only the first two listens or so was that this band knew exactly what they were doing.  Teen Dream is the sound of a band not simply hitting all the right notes but being fully aware of the fact that they are. It isn’t cockiness because that’s not really what Beach House is about, it’s simply pure unadulterated artistic confidence. It’s often a very exciting moment to music lovers when that happens. When you can literally hear a band discovering themselves right before your very ears. Two years ago, the Walkmen underwent a similar moment on their still pitch-perfect You & Me. To hear a band knowing exactly how much of themselves to give away and how much to hold back is a sweet treat. Beach House has found that place. It’s scary how easily that seems to have come to them, but they seem to be right comfortable in their skin.

Teen Dream, first and foremost, is a very beautiful album to behold. It is often quiet and reserved but never the least bit timid. It’s an album by a band that knows it will probably break your heart but won’t rip your heart completely out. At least not all at once. I think another stark contrast between the band’s previous efforts and this one is a very important one. Singer Victoria Legrand’s voice. It’s the same smoky, seductive voice of before but this time around it sounds a bit more muscular. Again, they seem to have recognized that they have this amazing weapon and rather than keep it on “stun” they set the sucker to “kill.”

While Teen Dream may never blow you away, it’s not intended to. Beach House have no need for bombast. Their modus operandi is using a very rich, textured, melodic and hypnotic form of song craft to capture the various ups, downs and in-betweens of people trying to figure out each other while trying to figure out themselves. I, think, perhaps if more people listened to Beach House, the answers would be more apparent.

I don’t even feel that this review does the album justice. I’m hoping that the high placement, though, makes up for what I haven’t really been able to say. Here’s another suggestion, listen to the record. It may not change your life but it will make you feel better.

If you ask me, that is a pretty awesome reward.

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