Best Coast – “The Only Place (Album Review)”

Best Coast are back with a new album and inspite of our lateness, here’s our review anyways.

Most definitely a nice development from their previous work, the more lo-fi surf rock sound they first introduced with their debut album Crazy for You has been developed through a more complete and clean production on this album. Despite the more acoustic and toned down setting, Best Coast still deliver a perfect array of tunes for us to fall into a meditative dreaminess.

Catchy lyrics and chimey surf-pop guitar riffs are both present just like their first record, and Bethany Cosentino’s unbelievably contagious vocals make heads turn in songs like the title track, “The Only Place.” The new production has also freed up room for her to only bring more emotion through her songs.

Heartfelt surf slow jams like “No One Like You” and “How They Want Me to Be,” are the center-point for the album and it gives the record brilliant light and shade. The painful emotion in this album shows Cosentino has had a very profound personal journey over the last two years, trying to find herself, and now she’s almost letting it out in songs like “Do You Still Love Me Like You Used To.” Some tracks even appearing eerie in places with vibraphones and swooping backing vocals such as “Dreaming My Life Away,” the title alone reinforces the darker side to the record.

But this is in no way saying that the album is overly melancholic, it is merely more mature, more convincing song writing. The emotion in the songs certainly doesn’t detract away from the overall presence of the record. Cosentino still scatters in the classic Best Coast 2 and a half minute jams, with jangly guitar driven surf sounds to even out the two sides of this record.

Despite the lack of clipping fuzzy guitars and deep spring reverbs, The Only Place presents a maturity, and just simply gives it some depth that their debut album did not have. After facing two years of criticism, off the back of their debut, The Only Place is very much like a reflection of that. The record will without doubt be the soundtrack of the summer for most indie-rockers out there and most of the songs will certainly be stuck in your head for days.

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