Beach House - Teen Dream
- Artist: Beach House
- Album: Teen Dream
- Label: Sub Pop
- Year of Release: 2010
- ME Rating:
- Reviewed by: tosnob on 2010-02-06
Over the course of their first two full length albums, the Beach House duo of Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand have built up a very loyal following for themselves. On January 26th the pair return with their third effort, Teen Dream.
Beach House have become known for their wafting, distorted pop music. They have incorporated styles of shoegazer and dream pop into a sound of their own. But that's the biggest problem with Teen Dream. The band seem content to straddle genre lines. On songs like the interminable "Silver Soul" they appear afraid to commit to any one style. That results in songs that are desperately lacking in soul. The contrived, restrained nature of a track like "Norway" has the listener almost begging for an amp to explode or a string to break or some other divine intervention to jerk Beach House out of their apparently comfortable rut.
There are some respites from their heavily diluted My Bloody Valentine-meets-Mercury Rev impression. The piano part on "Used To Be" sets up a misty pop piece. By bringing up the tempo, Beach House turn "Lover of Mine" into a layered, textural gem.
However, it's quickly back to the mundane as "Real Love" is a number that goes nowhere, yet doesn't provide enough of an experience to engage the listener on its own. Lyrics are obviously an afterthought on Teen Dream, so they add precious little to the mix.
Teen Dream makes this not-quite-a-teen-anymore dream of a less stunted, more free-flowing, more inspired album. As it stands this one is wholly unsatisfying (hell even the cover art is unforgivably bland).
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