Review Summary: Bethany Cosentino is all out of love (and so lost without you).
New York totally sucked for Bethany Cosentino. She left California behind (and with it her band Pocahaunted and making music in general) for full-time college and worse weather, in a move that left her, in her own words, unmotivated and unhappy. It’s really no surprise then that (presumably) The Ghost of Summer’s Past would swoop in one chilly night and bring about a change in this homesick soul: gnarly surfer dudes, short shorts, flip-flops, ***ing sand
, man. The Ghost took her back to memories of palm trees and sun tans and crazy parties and all the sorts of things we exaggerate about our summers in fond recollection. Oh, to go home, she yearned, to which The wise and venerable Ghost replied, with a voice that shook the wallpaper off the plaster, Go! And thus, in the majestic catharsis of returning home, Best Coast was conceived.
Crazy For You
feels as much an ode to boys and love and other girlie things as it is to California itself, particularly as a memory, or an ideal projected from her New York misery. Even when not conveyed in the lyrics, the music is all too clear: sunny, 60’s pop melodies and jangly guitars fill this record from front to back, swimming through an atmosphere fuzzier than a lion’s cooch. It’s a simple enough concept and it works almost entirely due to Cosentino’s admirably sugar sweet songwriting. Her personality shines through the music and most of her most outward attributes make it quite clear why she’s become the latest blog buzz sensation (read: victim); lazy, charming, disheveled, you may as well stick a Children of God cult back story in there and seal the deal once and for all. She really is magnetic though and when she sings “I lost my job / I miss my mom / I wish my cat could talk”, on “Goodbye” it gives you the idea that there’s a wink to Crazy For You
’s love-obsession and what a sly notion that is.
It’s an idea that would make sense too, as Crazy For You
is deceptively simple. I mean, for the most part, it’s as straight forward a record as you’ll get; there’s not much subtlety to the melodies, lyrics or general tone of the album but that’s exactly what makes it so good and exactly what makes it so clever. It’s a take it or leave it sort of deal and though I presume that is exactly how it’s going to be received among most listeners, there’s a fan base here for any romantic fuzz-nerd with a sweet tooth, which considering the success of the inferior Dum Dum and Vivian Girls (of which one plays in Best Coast’s live band (with all due respect)) is quite an audience indeed. So this is Bethany Cosentino’s debut record: to California, boys, love and heartbreak, spurned on one fateful night by an old and kind ghost and his goodhearted advice…presumably.