Under Review: Best Coast – Crazy For You

I’m beginning to feel like every other week calls for the abolition of another fad in modern pop music.  First it was the supergroup, then the covers record, and now it’s the girl-group revival.  In this case, though, I want this fad to go out on top, because its latest gift, Best Coast’s debut album, is a delight.  Just like the Dum Dum Girls, Best Coast make hazy, romantic music that evokes summertime even when it’s not explicitly mentioned in the lyrics.  Many of songs on Crazy For You describe the simple joys of the midyear, including longing for love (“Boyfriend”), having fun (“When I’m With You”) and that inexplicable thrill of spending time together (“Summer Mood”).  Leader Bethany Cosentino opts for a less punky and aggressive style than Dee Dee Gundred, making Crazy For You the beachcombing yin to I Will Be’s sun-stroked yang.  “Our Deal” tells of a couple’s code of honor, and “I Want To” is a heartbreaking tale of separation that shifts between a Hal Blaine beat and a lively jump.  Best Coast’s songs all clock in at three minutes or under, giving the album a brisk flow.  The album’s tone changes gradually, with songs like “Bratty B” and the brooding “Honey” suggesting that Bethany’s narrator may have been the wedge driver in these tumultuous relationships.  These lyrics contrast those of the groups that Best Coast emulate, whose stories usually had happy endings.  This mixture of personal darkness and musical levity is still a captivating one, making Crazy For You one of the best summer albums of this year.  Depending on how many more sonically similar bands sprout up over the next few years (or how many of the existing bands make it to Album Two), I think it’s safe to say that this revival has run its course.  Between Best Coast, Dum Dum Girls and the scene’s godmothers (and weakest links) Vivian Girls, I think we’re good for now.  Let’s just hope they don’t all join forces for a covers album.

(E.’s note: On subsequent listens, I’ve found that this album is pretty dull. The words “crazy,” “lazy” and “hazy” all rhyme. I get it.)


~ by E. on July 26, 2010.

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