Beach House – Teen Dream

January 24, 2010

Beach House - Teen Dream - Sub Pop (2010)

“Teen Dream” is Beach House‘s third lp, their first on Sub Pop, and by far their best yet.

And you can take that as no small compliment, since I thought the first two albums were really quite good. But I agree that “Teen Dream” is far better, with each of its ten tracks living up to or surpassing the very high standards set by my previous favorites, like “Master of None” from the self-titled lp and “Gila” from “Devotion.”

In terms of overall style, not much has changed: if you know the duo from their eariler work, you’ll easily recognize them here as as well. But according to the Sub Pop page, Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand worked intensively on these songs for months. And that hard work really shows, with compositions that are both consistently superb and superbly consistent and with vocal performances by Legrand that are soulful and moving beyond anything she’s done before.

Now, I must confess that I’m not sure what to make of the album’s title. Is the Shaun Cassidy reference intentional? That awaits further research. But based on the music and lyrics alone, I would have called the collection something like “to love in the past and present perfect” instead.

Still, the “Dream” part I do get. “The melody haunts my reverie” sings the girl in that Lichtenstein painting. After listening to this new lp by Beach House, I’m inclined to say the same.

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