Beach House/Best Coast
Beach House: Bloom (Sub Pop)
Since Victoria Legrand is from France, figure the beach house belongs to Alex Scally's parents‑-a safe haven of keepsakes and used furniture, a temporary site that leaves a person free to laze and dream, kind of like youth in the old days. In 2010 the duo's Teen Dream clarified their tunes and expressed their personal confusion in bad poetry. But though this sounds similar at a distance, in fact it's quite distinct, cultivating a gauziness that intensifies their lo-fi while keeping the imagery plain if not always straightforward. Verbally, both albums play the dark card, only now Legrand's anxiety is existential and universal‑-"Wouldn't you like to know how far you've got to go," "The voices in the hall/Will carry on their talking." The simple, deliberate chords and anthemic repetitions that give the anxiety form would be damn pretty at a minimum if she was counting seashells. Countering the depressive undertow, that form is both a spiritual triumph and the aural equivalent of Jesus and Mary Chain frosting a birthday cake. A MINUS
Best Coast: The Only Place (Mexican Summer)
The chirpy opener about fun in the sun is a feint‑-the lyrics that follow are so depressive that the consistent cheer and conservatism of the tunes is like some perverse minimalist art move. Problem is, nothing in Beth Cosentino's self-inflicted boy problems and palpable longing for a childhood when she didn't have to deal with them suggests that she's got the guts for such a concept. Melodically and verbally, her clarity is a gift. But until she bucks up and tells that jerk to take a hike, it's not going to do her much good. Nobody loves a doormat. B PLUS
EDIT: Fun fact: if you look up the album on Amaz0n and click on Customers Who Bought This Album Also Bought, no non-Xgau-approved album turns up until page 9! And it's that Human Switchboard anthology, which probably doesn't even count. Man, that's power.
Shady: maybe you should send your post to someone else and let him try it. Although when I tried that with Bradley a month ago I got nowhere.
Fjuck [sic] you , clankface ! My post was blocked repeatedly. And,it was blocked by the tyranny of code heads that apparently took a dislike to me after I was banished. Please revise your post and try again.
As far as the Jagger song goes, I think I'll stick to "Will the Real Mitt Romney Please Stand Up" (a viral video I enjoyed so much that I might it on my 'best songs of the year' list) when I need some anti-Romney goodness.
Joey -the A+ for the Jagger-Beck song was more for the performance than the song-which I still
haven't quite digested having heard it only once.
Cam-Wild Flag-for all we know could be in anywhere USA-and not able to appear in NYC-who
knows if Mick is even up on them.
I would have gone for Keith Richards Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood myself-with Bill Wyman
I know the uptempo stuff is what broke them so big, but it's always been "Fanny" that got me hardest.
about the blogger
Starting in 1967, Robert Christgau has covered popular music for The Village Voice, Esquire, Blender, Playboy, Rolling Stone, and many other publications. He teaches in New York University's Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music, maintains a comprehensive website at robertchristgau.com, and has published five books based on his journalism. He has written for MSN Music since 2006.