Review: Beach House's Teen Dream
Tue, 02 Feb 2010 08:37:37
Beach House Videos
With a soft cooing of "oohs and aahs," the beginning of Beach House's Teen Dream is highly misleading. Given this light timbre on opening track "Zebra," it's easy to expect a fairly passive, forgettable listening experience. But then there's the crescendo after the first chorus, and the album reaches unforgettable territory. The drum beat starts to drive the song while still managing not to overpower the group's trademark atmospheric vocals. At this point—precisely 2 minutes and 18 seconds into the album—Beach House hits the ground running, and they don't stop.
Each song improves upon the formula of the last. "Silver Soul" begins with a similar vocal pattern with slight modifications on rhythm and melody to make it even more striking than the first.
In "Norway," Beach House seems to jettison their predilection for delicate beauty in favor of imperfection, throwing the warble of a distorted guitar behind each verse, making it the early standout track of the album.
Each song thereafter is preceded with more anticipation than the last, and none disappoint, treating the listener to larger and more layered harmonies. After the whimsical "Better Times," the album reaches its zenith on "10 Mile Stereo." The lyrics are the most touching that Victoria LeGrand has penned: "They say we'll go far, but they don't know how far we'll go/ With our legs on the edge and our feet on the horizon." Combined with the echoing melody, the song creates the most wonderful sense of yearning and heartache that deep down everyone desperately tries to feel.
Teen Dream bests most of the albums of 2009 and will be hard to top in 2010. We'll probably be oohing and aahing along for a long time to come.