» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Beach House
Teen Dream
Sub Pop

Rating: 9.2/10 ?

February 4, 2010
If you haven't yet spent any time with Beach House and you're wondering why all of a sudden Victoria Legrand and Alex Scaly seem to be garnering double the attention of their first two not-exactly-ignored efforts, you only need look as far as the largely overlooked (and excellent) between-albums single "Used to Be." A moment of absolute melodic perfection, "Used to Be" was wisely re-recorded for inclusion on Beach House's equally excellent latest, Teen Dream. The difference between the two is the subtraction of a middle section and an addition of a coda, both necessary and heartbreaking in their own right. But the structural alteration is immaterial when it's the sparkling new production and the new propulsion of the track that demonstrates the duo's growth, something evident in even the weakest tracks on Teen Dream, though most follow suit on the leap in quality.

You could hold up "Real Love" as a perfect example, seemingly superfluous as all get-out with a near-parodically slow Legrand lyric. But just as you're about to abandon it as leftover spawn from their slower-than-molasses prior albums, it blossoms into one of the more melodically rich songs of 2009 thus far. "Walk in the Park" and "10 Mile Stereo" take advantage of the new interest in forward motion and glossy production that seem to have accompanied the band's leap to the watershed Sub Pop; crashing symbols thunder in where simple drum machines once puttered, opening a world of sound far more enriched and dimensional than I'm sure longtime admirers have come to expect of the group.

Maybe the growth is only obvious to those who've been following, but that doesn't take away from the obvious upgrade of accessibility found here. Where Devotion required just that sort of close attenuation, here the casual onlooker should have no trouble hearing stronger songs than ever. Sending them across with a little honey seems to have done some good--that is, if this is their Fleetwood Mac then god help us when they make their Rumours.

Teen Dream is accompanied with a DVD featuring a video for each track: nice touch, but the last thing this melodically-grounded epiphany needs is quirky, arty accompaniment. Many of them are at least interesting to watch, but the hazy feel seems to cater to a special kind of imagination and reward listeners who instill their own images and evocations as the tracks open up to them. Such rewards begin from the opening chords of "Zebra" and don't let up until Beach House's third and by far most astounding effort runs its course.

Reviewed by Cory Tendering
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See other reviews by Cory Tendering



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