Grizzly Bear
Yellow House


4.5
superb

Review

by Ryan Flatley EMERITUS
April 24th, 2007 | 107 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Grizzly Bear provides an impressive second full length album with "Yellow House" with a sound that is unique in its own regard.

There is an appreciation I can find in home recordings. For one, they usually sound more natural. Another great thing about home recordings, are that there is usually more done with less. I mean that with the simplest of instruments, a complex sound can erupt. Three bands/songwriters that are almost notorious for home recordings are Do Make Say Think (recorded albums in a barn), The Mountain Goats (old recordings were done through boom box recording), and Onelinedrawing (front man Jonah Matranga would often record as he visited other people in their houses). Another band has come out of hiding with one of the best albums I have heard in the past year, and that would be the band Grizzly Bear (who recorded their album in two different family member’s houses). Along with the house setting, Grizzly Bear set a mood or a feeling perhaps, for their latest release Yellow House. Some songs feel inviting, wanting you to experience the elegance. Other songs are captivating, by astounding you. Another portion of songs is compassionate, touching your soul with an ominous touch. Overall, though, this album felt cozy. A cozy feeling that was accompanied by darkness or happiness as it flourished throughout.

Yellow House is primarily acoustically driven with finger picked riffs for a good deal of the record. While there are some electric guitar parts present, it never becomes too overbearing. The song “Knife” provides a clear example with a sweet and subtle guitar driven by a simple drumbeat. During the song, beautiful hymning is layer on top of one another as a backbone for the song. In addition, the main voice is just as mesmerizing with not so cheerful lyrics saying, can you feel the knife, as the song breaks off into a bridge that leads to a piano lead ending. “Central and Remote” has a bold and triumphant beginning after a quiet guitar and vocal section to initiate the song. The bass and vocals continue to shine towards the end into a glistening fantasy as it ends.

Similar vocal collaborations are involved with the first track on the album, “Easier,” and maintained for a great portion of the album. Another standout track is the delectable charm “Lullabye.” With a nonchalant introduction, soon harsh guitar strums transition the song into an ascending vocal and guitar portion while singing chin up, cheer up repeatedly through that. The drum work takes over from there as the song progresses into organized, yet quiet chaos. Soon after, the same ascending portion begins once again and then the song breaks down to its ultimate finish.

The next breakthrough track comes in the song title “On a Neck, On a Spit.” It is a brighter song that starts with intricate guitar riffs. There are a few breaks where everything becomes silent. The song then completely changes into a different direction. After the second break, the song’s tempo picks up and becomes almost like a folk-pop movement. The song begins to build up more as it dazzles musically with a delicate intensity. The album ends on a dark note with “Colorado.” The piano coasts the song along with a creepy aura that is acceptable. The song picks up down the stretch as the moaning vocals seep through with the repetitive chant Colorado infiltrating much of the song. It is a perfect song to end this record. It is just as relaxing and cozy as the other tracks but it adds that gloomy mood that makes it fantastic.

The album as a whole is one complex, yet simple and effective work. It may seem repetitive or boring, but if you take time to travel through from start to finish, it is that perfect “mood” album. The different hymnal tones throughout are almost like another instrument. The vocal background effects make it possible to have a solid foundation during this record. I like the coziness of the album when I need something to relax myself. As I stated before, Yellow House is one of the top indie albums I have listened to in the past year and if there is a comfort zone needed, you can find it in this album. The home recording of Yellow House is impressive, and after all, there is no place like home. It is time to feel at home once again.

Recommended Tracks:
The Knife
Lullabye
Central and Remote
On a Neck, On a Split



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Comments:Add a Comment 
GleamInRanks
April 24th 2007


298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yay to the review, yay to 'On A Neck, On A Split', nay to me for not hearing of this band. This Message Edited On 04.24.07

The Jungler
April 24th 2007


4827 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is a good CD, but I like Horn of Plenty more. Good review Ryan Flatley.

Slaapkamers
April 24th 2007


596 Comments


Bear in the big yellow house.

sgrevs
April 24th 2007


698 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review, this album is fantastic.

lunchforthesky
April 24th 2007


1039 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Such a great album and your review did it justice.

perriwinkle
April 25th 2007


5 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this album kicks ass i thought it was better than Horn of Plenty

Abaddon2005
April 25th 2007


684 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Weird, I would have sworn MX reviewed this. Good review, though

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
April 25th 2007


4927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

He did a soundoff on this album.

Jungler: I still need Horns of Plenty, I'm sure I'll get it within the next week.

edit: hahah I just read my comment on your review. I am slacking, clearly.This Message Edited On 04.25.07

clairvoyant
April 25th 2007


765 Comments


good review,

AlienEater
April 25th 2007


716 Comments


sounds good

GleamInRanks
May 22nd 2007


298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is so smooth.

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
May 22nd 2007


4927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

smoother than a babies bottom.

GleamInRanks
May 22nd 2007


298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You put 'On A Split" in your review by the way.

descendents1
June 20th 2007


702 Comments


High ratings and good review mean this is mine soon.

Zebra
Moderator
June 21st 2007


2647 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This album is great, I really don't know why I like it so much. At first I could barely get through the album but now I can't stop listening to it.

Doppelganger
July 5th 2007


3124 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I find this album very easy to get into. Album slays. Excellent review, also.

Upsidedown_and_Sideways
October 23rd 2007


263 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The album isn't that easy to get into, in that it jumps right out at you. Instead, you've got to go to it, then you really understand the whole CD. Either that or I'm a little baked.

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
October 23rd 2007


4927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Yeah at first it wasn't to my liking (listened to it in my car). Then I listened to it again (at home) and loved it.

cbmartinez
October 23rd 2007


2525 Comments


My friend just sent this to me, I'm going check it out by the end of the day, will post my thoughts.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
December 17th 2007


15740 Comments


Knife is so unbelievable.

Digging: Flying Lotus - You're Dead!



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