Bethany Cosentino has a lot of friends. If her art is any indication of her personality, who wouldn’t want to know this gal? 2010’s Crazy For You got by solely on its’ vocals and what her partner, Bob Bruno, did with the guitars. For me, those two things were enough to forgive lyrics that could’ve been written by a 9 year-old; lyrics such as these…
“There’s nothing worse than sitting all alone at home and waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting by the phone.”
“I’d love him to the very end, but instead, he is just a friend.”
“One day, I’ll make him mine and we’ll be together all the time. We’ll sit and watch the sunrise and gaze into each others’ eyes”
“My highs are high. My lows are low. And I don’t know which way to go.”
Three of the above-sampled are taken from one song. There has to be something else amazing going on, if I was willing to gloss over that sort of content two years ago. One line I actually do enjoy from Crazy for You is “I lost my job. I miss my mom. I wish my cat could talk.” Viva non-sequiturs!
So, going into this year’s The Only Place, Bethany and Bob still have great vocals plus catchy tunes as their foundation on which they might build and build they did. Bethany has a lot of friends. She was able to befriend super producer, Jon Brion. Brion’s influence on the proceedings is subtle. Most notably, the sound is much more cleaner than anything the duo’s produced to date. Each instrument is equally present in the mix and Bethany’s vocals shine.
The biggest problem (lyrics) with the last album has been vastly improved. Most of them now sound like a teenager’s words as opposed to that of a pre-pubescent. However, some duds have lingered.
“…we like to sit around and stare at the mountains, at the birds, at the ocean, at the trees.”
How descriptive of her.
The same song from which those words were sampled begins with a guitar riff that would make Peter Buck proud. Bob Bruno is a definite asset to Best Coast.
The only thing that may irk a listener of The Only Place is the fact that, for the most part, it still sounds like the same three chords are employed in every tune. ‘The Only Place’ and ‘Why I Cry’—(the first two songs) are the exact same song (!); even down to the rhythm and tempo. ‘How They Want Me To Be’ and ‘Up All Night’ also fall into the aforementioned category.
All that being said, The Only Place still wins me over. It’s Summah, after all, and I treat music during this season like some treat the over-bloated popcorn flicks; eeeasssy.
Here’s hoping Best Coast’s third album will be another step in the right direction.
Verdict: 3 Bedpans