Best Coast - The Only Place
- By Jordan Halford -
- May 08, 2012
Best Coast return with their much-anticipated sophomore release, ‘The Only Place,’ though it seems little has changed in Bethany Consetino's weed-induced world.
‘Indie’s answer to Katy Perry’ returns alongside Bobb Bruno with another dreamy ditty to whisk you away to sunnier climes while dancing around your bedroom in just your undies.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
2010’s debut album, ‘Crazy For You’ drew many plaudits for its nostalgic and charming classic 60s surf pop, awash with glorious summer haze and swashbuckling guitar melodies, (even Mr. Snacks the cat was on the record sleeve) but while her lovelorn warbling may have seemed charming at first, quite frankly it becomes a little less endearing second time round. Seemingly, like my mother, to put it bluntly, she loves a bloody good whinge.
While the Los Angeles duo’s introduction was beset by three-minute jingles influenced largely by the anguish of heartbreak and sheer lust, it was somewhat troubled by Consentino’s lyrical naivety and clumsy repetition. Little has changed here.
There are once again elements of depression and insecurity evident. On ‘Last Year’ she croons: "I used to believe in you and me, but now I believe in nothing," but the smattering of tenses in "what a day this year has been" highlights her inability to pen lyrics only slightly more sophisticated than a postcard from your 8-year-old nephew.
Similarly with ‘Better Girl’ her paranoia reaches new levels as she confesses: "It’s no fun when you’re always laughing at me, you gotta keep me away from what they say about me." Perhaps, a possible side effect of her much loved habit.
That said, however, Consentino doesn’t pretend to aim for grandiose lyrical territory and instead, she confides in the undoubted power of her voice. Once again, this is a vocal heavy record but it's only enhanced by Consentino’s unlucky in love ramblings and the engaging fragility in her angst-ridden voice.
‘Do You Still Love Me Like You Used To’ and ‘No One Like You’ are impressive, but she undoubtedly saves the best till last, as on the beautiful ‘Up All Night’ she concludes with the band’s longest track at just over four minutes. "And now you’re off in another town with another girl, just sittin’ round, but I‘m still here, still alone, still awake and still afraid."
It’s a poignant conclusion to her plea for love and a pleasant change from Best Coast’s perfect lo-fi garage pop. This remains a captivating summer retreat; almost transporting you back 50 years to a beachside American diner with Consentino howling away in the background after putting a nickel in the jukebox.
The 11-track ode begins with a dedication to her beloved LA roots. The eponymous ‘The Only Place’ claims, ‘Why would you live anywhere else? We’ve got the ocean, got the babes, got the sun; we’ve got the waves. This is the only place.’
And in truth, it’s hard to argue with that. Now, where’s my passport?
By Jordan Halford.
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