Beach House
Devotion


3.0
good

Review

by Lewis P. STAFF
February 28th, 2008 | 25 replies | 12,721 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Beach House are the dark horse.

On last year’s The Besnard Lakes’ …Are the Dark Horse, the Beach Boys influenced indie-blah rockers tried to mesh their lighthearted pop-rock with melancholic apprehension. They wanted to be the party and the drunken stumble home. They wanted to make their cake, jump out of it, and eat it too. With Beach House’s follow-up to their 2006 self-titled debut, Devotion, they take this basic conceit, move it to the East coast, cut out the middle man and head straight for the liquor cabinet with sleepy abandon. As a record, it’s wholly more stable, creating dreamy whirls of lo-fi pop and shoegaze rock. As this record, Devotion fully congeals into a satisfying and believable listen. As the creators of this record, Beach House never surprise or vary, but they play it straight, and that’s quite alright for those sleepy hangovers.

“Oh, but your wish is my command,” Victoria Legrand states erotically into the washing machine tempo of the chorus to “Wedding Bell.” With a frigid production that runs through the length of Devotion, much of the emotion such as the erotic favor Legrand grants feels nuanced and personal, taking the sequenced crunch of guitars in “Wedding Bell” to erratic heights. And though the production creates a tinny wash to such cymbal battered tracks like “You Came To Me,” it appropriately creates a thick, hazy, and sleepy atmosphere that shifts the attention from what Legrand is saying to how she says it. Like a sultry feline, Legrand holds the fragile pieces of Devotion together, becoming a hollow echo in “Turtle Island” and a high octave angel in “Heart of Chambers.” Alex Scally might play second fiddle to Legrand’s earthy and soulful performance, but he holds his own in trajectory, dotting his lullabies with frequent guitar slides and chord progressions. “Heart of Chambers” shifts in its last quarter to a power chord lacking power, while a tropical vibe permeates through out the otherwise spacey nuances of “Astronaut.”

But quirks and personalities make up the dreamscapes in Devotion. Rain pellets fall elegantly around the tingling tambourine and Legrand’s low vocal melody in “Some Things Last a Long Time,” turning the rainy afternoon into a flood. Legrand’s powerful coos and shakes in “Gila” stand out in an album full of highlights for the powerhouse performer, with the nonchalance of Cat Power or the songwriting tic of Elliott Smith. “Don’t waste your time,” beautifully offsets the lingering “oh, oh, oh, oh” employed thereafter, which is as sweet an invite to sit back and relax as any. But the true serenity of the still too-safe, too-pretty Devotion comes when the sun finally rises on “Home Again,” where tambourines and finger snaps gently wrap around the looped warps in melody. It begs for the record to begin again, which in itself is a victory for the repetitive Devotion. The album truly is beautiful within its down tempo setting, and as a soundtrack for the morning after, there’s nothing quite like keeping the lights off and the volume low and simply letting Devotion get you through the day.



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Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
February 28th 2008



17920 Comments


they take this basic conceit

nice use of the word conceit which means an artistic effect or deviceThis Message Edited On 02.28.08

plane
Staff Reviewer
February 28th 2008



6085 Comments


nice sound off

sgrevs
February 28th 2008



698 Comments


I don't quite understand your Beach House/Besnard Lakes comparison. What are you trying to say about the Besnard Lakes album?

Eliminator
February 28th 2008



2067 Comments


pitchfork

plane
Staff Reviewer
February 28th 2008



6085 Comments


I don't quite understand your Beach House/Besnard Lakes comparison. What are you trying to say about the Besnard Lakes album?

They sound alike. This one isn't boring.

Catchthe22
February 28th 2008



95 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

album is probably worth a bit more than a 3 in my opinion. It isnt super exciting but its good to put on during homework or mellow times.

AggravatedYeti
February 28th 2008



7684 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this is alright, 'Are the Dark Horse' was better by mmiiiiillles I think.
really good review none the less.

Eliminator
February 28th 2008



2067 Comments


that could also be the junglers tho

Neoteric
February 28th 2008



3243 Comments


I've reached the point where I can identify a Lewis review based on the offbeat band name.
yeah.

plane
Staff Reviewer
February 28th 2008



6085 Comments


album is probably worth a bit more than a 3 in my opinion. It isnt super exciting but its good to put on during homework or mellow times.

That was my point. It'd be higher if the songs could distinguish themselves but they're all good in their own right.

Iai
Emeritus
February 28th 2008



3553 Comments


irish hip-hop woooooooooo

/eliminator

cbmartinez
February 28th 2008



2525 Comments


I like this album a lot, one of my faves of 08 so far. "Gila" and "Turtle Island" are delicious.

whatduffhuck7
February 29th 2008



163 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

not digging the female vox too much but real good chill music


The Jungler
March 1st 2008



4827 Comments


haha, I saw this on pitchfork a couple days ago. nothing about it really interests me and I kinda figured it wouldn't be as good as they described it.


jontheatheist
March 1st 2008



79 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Just played it for the first time on vinyl. The First records better and theres only a couple standout tracks.

Eliminator
March 1st 2008



2067 Comments


pitchfork mentioned Beach House in a review for Earth

lol

whatduffhuck7
March 7th 2008



163 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Gila is awesome!



barbarian
May 8th 2008



341 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"Somethings Last a Long time" is a damn good song. Good choice for a cover. I'm not too sure about my rating yet. Might bump up to a 3. I agree with the review though. Good job.

brandtweathers
May 20th 2008



2007 Comments


^great point. I was shocked listening to this when that track started.
I think it's pretty common for people to do Daniel Johnston covers... for me that shows his universal appeal outside of his obvious impairments. No? Screw you.

natey
January 12th 2009



4170 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I've desired this album a bit lately. It's pretty good.



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