Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Gut Feeling: Best Coast - Crazy For You

Best Coast – Crazy For You
Mexican Summer, 2010

Well, here you have it. Another perfectly fine band ruined by a heap of hype that led to a superfluous LP exposing all the flaws of what is now apparent: the stoned beach pop thing is a passing phase and this should be the nail in the coffin until I don't know, some other faux-nostalgic trend blitzes the blogosphere. There was something wonderful and fresh about Best Coast's 7”s and Eps. It was coy, but never cloying, and came off as a better version of Jenny Lewis doing lo-fi pop jams. And now Bethany Cosentino sounds just like Jenny Lewis and it's boring. There isn't a single song on this record that stands up to monster jams like “The Sun Was High (So Was I),” “When I'm With You” (which is on the record, but tacked on at the end), or “Up All Night.” The production is cleaned up, and does a great job of sanitizing the sound that made her records so appealing in the first place. Crazy For You feels half-assed. Where the flaws were burined in the haze, the simplicity of the songs only exposes tired chord progressions and lazy songwriting about boys and summer (but again, without having anything new to offer unlike, say, her cover of “That's the Way Boys Are”). It's cloying, and it has that undesirable “like me, like me!” trait. “When I'm With You” was the high watermark, and it's inclusion at the end of the album only illustrates the tossed off quality of the preceding 12 songs. I know Best Coast's whole aesthetic is tied to a certain kind of laziness, but, well, this is the bad kind of lazy. The songs piddle around a couple of chords and then fizzle out. The end....and now it's Vivian Girls all over again. Or maybe I should have just stopped reading Cosentino's twitter, which basically just made her out to be a chick who dug smoking weed and talking about her cat. And wait, now I see a line from an interview where she says the songs are about her cat, smoking weed and being lazy! Imagine that! Ultimately, I'm just bummed that such an uncompelling album could come from someone who made songs that I listened to over and over and over again a few months ago. Somehow, it's stumbled into “like me! Like me!” faux-girl group-core.

1 comment:

  1. i whole heartedly agree with everything you said here. the punch of a great tune like when i'm with you seems void on the full length. i dont think there is anything wrong with the record, the songs just exist, and that just doesn't seem like enough. sort of have the same feeling towards that new grass widow record. it sounds ok, but ultimately i'll just listen to last years effort instead, because everything great about the band is found in there, and there's no real pressing need to try duplicating that.