Real Estate
Atlas


4.0
excellent

Review

by Dan H. CONTRIBUTOR (54 Reviews)
February 26th, 2014 | 55 replies


Release Date: 03/04/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Innate.

Sometimes in life stress gets the better of us, and when it does, you need to retreat to a place of comfort in your mind in order to gather your thoughts. It might be that you need to escape a sharp annoyance like spilling your coffee, or it might be an altogether more strenuous worry like juggling exams, but whatever the event, occasionally you just need to close your eyes and imagine that idyllic place where everything just seems better. I like to imagine lying on a deserted beach where the waves casually lap at my toes, and ice cool beverages refill themselves without the need for human interaction. Whatever your fantasy, it isn’t complete without an appropriate soundtrack; and playing narrator to my imaginary paradise – the blissful musings of Real Estate.

Real Estate’s brand of deliciously uplifting and inoffensive indie rock is delivered through warm, dreamy guitars and subdued yet efficient drumming which combine to create an addictive, summery ambience. Their sophomore release Days exuded a confident calm and dabbled in the nostalgic, with 70’s influences underpinning their beach friendly sound. This lush tone has been maintained on Atlas, and it has been solidified further through the full time recruitment of Jackson Pollis on drums and Matt Kallman (formerly of Girls) on keys. Their inclusions have served to buffer and polish an already established sound, and combined with the crisper, cleaner production that’s utilized on Atlas, Real Estate will undoubtedly win scores of new fans, especially given their willingness to make the road their home. Though neither of the new recruits takes centre stage on Atlas – this is left once again to vocalist Martin Courtney and guitarist Matt Mondanile – their nuances permit the band a more wholesome feel. This is evidenced instantly on the measured album opener “Had to Hear” where the extended outro benefits from Pollis’ expertise, and later on the assured instrumental “April’s Song” where both the band’s chemistry and efficacy are showcased.

But as charming as this happiness is, Real Estate never allows it to become all encompassing or kitschy, and this can be attributed to the nonchalant vocals of Martin Courtney. Crooning against consistently upbeat backdrops, Courtney’s understated vocal delivery tactfully mellows out the bright instrumentation behind him, never allowing the songs to reach nauseatingly cheery levels. This is typified by the up tempo numbers “Talking Backwards” and “Horizon,” where his soft delivery counteracts the bubbly guitar work of Matt Mondanile dancing underneath, keeping the songs importantly stabilized. By striking this delicate balance it allows a feeling of sheer contentment to reign throughout Atlas, and it’s this care-free, jovial, but always grounded atmosphere which really lends Real Estate their success and originality.

Real Estate has settled into a sweet spot already in their short career, and quite rightly they’re showing no signs of wanting to change their winning formula. By their own admission they’re making the music that’s in their DNA; music in which the major is embraced and the minor is taboo, and just like the releases that preceded it, Atlas feels organic and simply effortless despite its intricacies. The most refreshing thing however, is that it’s not at all difficult to imagine that Real Estate would be making this music together if they were playing for just a room of people, for millions, or for nobody but themselves.



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user ratings (213)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
Grant Thomas (4)
Originality in similarity....

Vincent A. (3.5)
A more personal and textured affair than Real Estate's prior records – but at what cost?...

Alexander Abidin (4.5)
Simplicity updated....

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Comments:Add a Comment 
VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
February 26th 2014


1034 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Wasn't going to post till release day, but as I'm away for two weeks...

Album is addictive.

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
February 26th 2014


13404 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

hooray real estate love

Digging: The Smith Street Band - Throw Me In The River

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
February 26th 2014


10359 Comments


Nice work man, tho I'd suggest reworking a few phrases in the first paragraph. While you're aiming to sound informal in it, some of your word choices come off as unintentionally impersonal. I'll point out a few examples that strike me as a little off:

a place akin to a psychological foetal position

Whether you need to escape an acute annoyance caused by a spilt coffee on your person, or an altogether more demanding stress like moving house

where the waves never deviate from lapping at my toes

where a variety of ice cool beverages refill themselves without the need for human interaction - with particular emphasis on the latter

I think part of what throws me for a loop is that these phrases are a bit wordier than they need to be, particularly the last couple. Try reading them out loud and seeing if there's a different way you might approach them in that scenario.

The rest of it is all good, and I know you're probs just going outside your comfort zone a bit- which is awesome. I probably don't experiment with my writing as much as I could.


theacademy
Staff Reviewer
February 26th 2014


28785 Comments


i love that, as redskyformiles rides off into the sunset, VheissuCrisis arrives to take his place

VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
February 26th 2014


1034 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeh thanks bud I'll switch stuff up. I'm glad you noticed that I really
went for a different style here. It's the most conversational tone I've ever adopted so it was always
going to have a few things that needed fixing.

Is there a ceremonial baton acad?

FreddieDelaney31
February 26th 2014


106 Comments


I agree a lot with pretty much everything in the second paragraph, great review man.

Digging: The Smith Street Band - Throw Me in the River

VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
February 26th 2014


1034 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks man.

Omaha - new intro, tried to address the impersonal aspect of it and make it less wordy.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
February 26th 2014


10359 Comments


yeah looking better for sure, nice job man! Days is a hell of an album so I'll have to get on this as
well.

this streaming?

808muzik
February 27th 2014


972 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I wish it was summer so I could really jam this.

VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
February 27th 2014


1034 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Its streaming on itunes.

ZackSh33
February 27th 2014


355 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This album is unbelievably addicting. As soon as it ends, you just want to go through it all over again. I can't really pick a favorite cause the whole album is wonderful.

"I wish it was summer so I could really jam this." [2]

Kiran
Emeritus
February 27th 2014


6002 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

real estate are an all throughout the year band for me

Digging: Harry Nilsson - Nilsson Schmilsson

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
February 27th 2014


13404 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

well



do you live in florida or someth

Kiran
Emeritus
February 27th 2014


6002 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i live in sweden, i can't afford to make bands season exclusive

808muzik
February 28th 2014


972 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i'll still jam this, but when summer comes i'll JAM this.

londoncalling457
March 4th 2014


2610 Comments


Talking Backwards and Crime got me so pumped for this, then it leaked at the same time of the new War on Drugs album, so I'm just now soaking it all in. "Days" is one of my favorite albums of all time, and I have so many personal memories related to that album making it hard for Atlas to top it. But damn this is good.

clander270
March 4th 2014


178 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Sounds like Real Estate. Nothing much has changed. I found myself getting pretty bored of this album quickly but it's still great. Just wish they had some more tracks on here that really catch my attention.

SexyBurka
March 4th 2014


12 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Never got into Real Estate but I love Ducktails.

808muzik
March 5th 2014


972 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

other way around for me, still waiting to fully listen to that war on drugs

Gyromania
March 5th 2014


15967 Comments


this album is everything i'm looking for right now



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