Beach House
Beach House



by jeremologyy USER (40 Reviews)
August 12th, 2007 | 12 replies

Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A beautiful, woozy, dreamy, waving summer album.

Cut to you - sitting on a towel in the warm, fine sand, on a beautiful Hawaiian beach. Listening to the waves and the seagulls, and, strangely enough, listening to the peace. The calm. The bliss you've obtained. The waves and animals seem to produce the perfect soundtrack to your day of soothing relaxation. And, while that is quite a delicately stunning soundtrack to have seeping into your ears for an hour, it is not the only one...

Some bands or singers have mastered the art of sounding like a season. For instance, indie superstar Bright Eyes' Cassadaga sounds like a fresh, newly lit spiring day in Florida. The album Vespertine from Icelandic singing sensation Bjork sounds just like a blanketed winter evening. And there are many more who claim their own textures. But, this duo known as Beach House are quite special in the sense that they capture the essence of summer in a bottle. And they make it seem so simple. Sometimes, even, they hint at sounding autumnal, too.

Beach House opens with Saltwater's pulsing drum machines and then adds chugging synth and organ, with a touch of distortion and a lot of reverb. It's a little much at first, but when singer/organist Victoria Legrand's vocals kick in, you know you're in for a treat. She sings so purely and it just sways out of the speakers. The lyrics are a bit difficult to understand due to heavy density, lo-fi sound, and lots of reverb. But, the last line you hear before it cuts right to the second track, "You couldn't lose me if you tried," though so straightforward, it's one of the most believable sentiments I've heard in months.

By the time you get a little bit into the fantastically orchestrated, but nearly incomprehensible Tokyo Witch, you realize that there's not going to be a whole lot of differentiation. But, you can't deny the somewhat unbearably beautiful wooziness and dreaminess of their original sound. Original sound" But they sound so similar to Mazzy Star, or Nico! But they don't. They're similar, but they produce a sound all their own. Especially on the fantastic third track, Apple Orchard. With its insanely gorgeous organ waves, you can just picture yourself in that aforementioned spot on the beach. "You only give me what you don't want to hold." Perfect.

Auburn and Ivory is a bit different. It starts with a chilling harpsichord and some creepy waving vocals, and even a random sound that you know means they messed up. That's a good thing. They mess up slightly a couple times, and it adds to the album's honesty. This is one of Legrand's best vocal works, as is House on a Hill, the least memorable but most beautifully sung track.

I admit that the last four songs merely do not match up to the first five. It seems as if they had two very-slightly different sets of songs, but didn't bother to mix them up, and just laid them side by side. Lovelier Girl, the most happy sounding-song, with the best melody might I add, fails to remain too memorable, and when it's over, you don't even really mind, let alone notice (since you're probably in a daze, anyway.) However, closer Heart and Lungs is a truly beautiful number, of minimalistic beauty that nearly paralyzed me as I listened to its fading harmonies. (Not to mention, it sounds like a crisp autumn afternoon in a piny forest.)

Beach House is two people, and never once does their debut sound like any more. It's a very simple duo, but a very effective one. They don't seem cluttered, they seem comfortable. We can only hope that they improve on their differentiation, seeing as the beautiful, summer-waves of the first half triumph over the second half. Wooziness, charm, and undeniable divinity strikes this record, but so does fault. So, it's kind of an album that is beautiful, but not much else. However, it is the perfect soundtrack to laying on the beach. Damn seagulls!


Saltwater - 4/5
Tokyo Witch - 3.5/5
Apple Orchard - 5/5 *
Master of None - 5/5 *
Auburn and Ivory - 4/5
Childhood - 3/5
Lovelier Girl - 3.5/5
House on a Hill - 3.5/5
Heart and Lungs - 4.5/5 *

* = track pick

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user ratings (224)
other reviews of this album
jtswope (3.5)
Beach House's debut lays the foundation for a quiet, tranquil mood and sustains it with its own bran...

Comments:Add a Comment 
Apocalyptic Raids
August 13th 2007


Album Rating: 3.0

Nice review. I want to check this out, sounds like something I would like.

Apocalyptic Raids
August 14th 2007


Album Rating: 3.0

alright so I checked it out and it's alright. I'm glad they made the album only 30-something minutes long, anything else would've been too much.

it makes good background music, i suppose.This Message Edited On 08.14.07

Staff Reviewer
September 3rd 2010


Album Rating: 2.0

Question: What makes a person yawn?

Answer: When you are sleepy, bored or tired, you breathe more slowly. Your body requires oxygen and needs to throw out the carbon dioxide. So, your brain makes you take an extra breath, which is deep and long called a yawn, so that you can take in more of oxygen and give out carbon dioxide fully.

Alternative answer: Beach House’s self-titled debut LP.

I know I’m not really a fan of dream-pop – let alone lo-fi dream-pop – but this album just makes me yawn. Its pace is languid from start to finish & it has practically no variety (especially vocally). It can be handled over the LP’s first half, but over 37 minutes it gets way too sleepy. On the positive side; some of the slide guitar is cool, and clear highlight ‘Auburn and Ivory’ is actually really good. ‘Apple Orchard’ is probably next best.

September 3rd 2010


100% with Davey

Staff Reviewer
September 3rd 2010


Album Rating: 2.0

Then rate it.

I can't believe the average is so high.

September 3rd 2010


needz moar hate amirite daveyboy?

Staff Reviewer
September 3rd 2010


Album Rating: 2.0

It's difficult to hate when you're snoring.

September 3rd 2010


i listen to gy!be when i go to bed when i want to have fucked up dreams

March 29th 2012


Ugh so liek these guys ripped off The Weeknd & stuff

June 11th 2012


what? how the hell did these guys rip off the weekend? thats crazy talk!...good album non the less. liked devotion and teen dream much better tho.

July 29th 2012


Album Rating: 5.0

I'm shocked that you rated Childhood as THE WORST song... it's probably the best thing they've done. This is a masterpiece of low-fi dream pop and deserves every good review its ever been given.

August 13th 2012


Album Rating: 2.5

Does the out-of-time tambourine on Tokyo Witch really bother anyone else?

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