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Beach House - Teen Dream (2010)
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Beach House - Teen Dream (2010)

12-10-2016, 18:47
Pop | Rock | Indie | FLAC / APE

Title: Teen Dream
Year Of Release: 2010
Label: Bella Union
Genre: Dream Pop, Indie Rock
Quality: 320 / FLAC (tracks.cue.log)
Total Time: 48:46
Total Size: 112 / 325 Mb


1. Zebra 4:48
2. Silver Soul 4:58
3. Norway 3:54
4. Walk In The Park 5:22
5. Used To Be 3:58
6. Lover Of Mine 5:06
7. Better Times 4:23
8. 10 Mile Stereo 5:03
9. Real Love 5:20
10. Take Care 5:48

Beach House's sound was fully formed at the time of their 2006 debut. They had slow, shadowy dream-pop down; at times they recalled Mazzy Star or Galaxie 500, but songs like "Apple Orchard" and "Master of None" had a dark and blurry resonance all their own. Artists that start out so assured and distinctive can run into trouble on second, third, and fourth records. Hardcore fans are there no matter what, but others may wonder: Do I need another album from this band? When I'm in the mood for what they bring, can't I just put on what I already have?
Teen Dream, Beach House's third album and first for Sub Pop, obliterates these concerns. This is both the most diverse and most listenable of their three full-lengths, and yet it never seems like a compromise. It feels like the product of careful, thoughtful growth, bringing in new influences-- bits of mid-1970s Fleetwood Mac, sparkling indie pop, even a few soul and gospel touches--- while maintaining the group's core sound. Teen Dream is a stirring reminder that good things can happen when you move out of your comfort zone.
The interplay between Victoria Legrand's voice and droning keyboards and Alex Scally's guitars is still the key element of the band's aesthetic. But here, each song has its own palette, which creates new possibilities. So the repetitive guitar figure, double-time kick drum, and crashing cymbals in the opening "Zebra" immediately suggest movement, signaling that this record will have a dramatic sweep unheard on the band's more pensive beginnings. And the whispery "ah-ah-ah" backing vocals that open "Norway" imply a new openness to the allure of pop pleasure, as that bit of ear candy finds a sharp contrast in the seasick-sounding slide that hovers over the verses. More somber ballads like "Better Times" and "Silver Soul" have the thick, churning gloom familiar from earlier records, but they acquire more force by being placed alongside tracks that allow for more light. Front to back, the arrangements and sequencing are superb.
Despite the brighter, more pop-informed sound and an album title that brings to mind the hazy nostalgia of youth, Teen Dream has a pretty sad heart. Because the music is so effective, the churn of emotions is there even when you don't know exactly what Legrand is singing about (this can happen easily with her unusual phrasing). But a closer listen reveals songs about uncertainty, doubt, and feeling beaten down by the world. "Walk in the Park" sounds romantic on paper, but this is a journey taken alone as a way to try and forget someone who is no longer around. The choppy verses, nudged along by the sort of cheap drum machine Beach House use expertly to suggest loneliness, explode sideways into a shimmering chorus that finds Legrand busting out a time-heals-all-wounds affirmation over a calliope organ. This chorus turn is a big moment that gets more affecting with more listens, lunging from resigned sorrow to an anxious plea, and it accomplishes this mood swing with a damn catchy melodic hook. A similar lift-off happens on "10 Mile Stereo", when the song shifts from its deliberate opening bars to its rushing and noisy main section that's as close as Beach House have come to true shoegaze. The gorgeous racket is affixed to a song about feeling dead inside after another failed relationship: "Limbs parallel/ We stood so long, we fell."

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