Real Estate
Real Estate


4.5
superb

Review

by timbo8 USER (49 Reviews)
December 15th, 2009 | 16 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Real Estate's lo-fi surf rock makes serious waves at the Jersey Shore and beyond.

Does New Jersey truly suck? Admittedly, I've only been on the excellent, highly abridged tour: the picturesque beaches of Cape May, the nice parts of Camden County that are far cries from actual Camden, the affluent suburbia of North Jersey, and not-unpleasant excursions through said region's more dilapidated, less Kodak-worthy cities on the way to New York. The state has its haters for its undoubtedly ***ty aspects, but you will nevertheless find plenty of natives with boisterous, non-ironic pride for the Garden State.

Lo-fi surf rockers Real Estate are patriotic Jersey boys, but absolutely not in the Bruce Springsteen way. Their self-titled debut is a seamless blend of mellow psychedelic folk, surf pop, and alternative country that whispers odes to the home state and the imagery of chilled out fun in the sun. "Carry me back to sweet Jersey, back to where I long to be" sings Martin Courtney, whose everyman vocals are usually buried in the mix, but the emotional resonations of his words make up for the physical distance of his voice. The overall effect is not too dissimilar from James Mercer's layered croon on Oh, Inverted World. The suburban imagery is more evoked sonically through patient, looped rhythms and warm lo-fi glow.

Resting on Courtney's reserved singing are airy guitar riffs that hit decidedly country tones (Read: the second half melody of opener "Beach Comber" will hook you on these guys). But as informed by CCR (at their slowest) and outdoorsy folk as Real Estate may be, it is still a sound that lives on the Jersey Shore. The jangly guitar chords and psychedelic underpinnings flesh out the band's mellow, summertime aesthetic. "Atlantic City" is an instrumental, slow motion hang ten that's far prettier than its namesake, and "Let's Rock the Beach" doesn't so much rock it as it puts on a blissed out liquid light show for the beachcombers. Only closer "Snow Day" breaks seasonal rank, serving sing-along folk and softly soaring vocals not far removed from Robin Pecknold and Fleet Foxes.

As much as the tunes stick, you may realize, once broken from trance, how effortless and unassuming Real Estate really sounds. The post-college members of the band seem to speak to a time when summer actually meant trips to the beach and relaxation before another school year, not actual jobs and actual stress. It's not all sunglasses and above-ground pools, but damn if it isn’t a beautiful life created in Real Estate. Courtesy of sweet Jersey.



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user ratings (207)
3.6
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
SeaAnemone
December 16th 2009


21429 Comments


nice review! pos'... looking forward to hearing this

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
December 16th 2009


27502 Comments


pitchfork

PuddlesPuddles
December 16th 2009


4798 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I got impatient with this album, it's good and all but iiiidk

Knott-
Emeritus
December 16th 2009


10260 Comments


yeah basically...

pitchfork.

but im still getting this just to see how hipster it is.

Kiran
Emeritus
December 16th 2009


6133 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

it's good

Jemidu06
December 28th 2009


115 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

im surprised at myself for not liking this that much. its just okay, little dull. normally pitchfork hype puts out some good bands but every now and then we get an ehhh and i think this is one

Jemidu06
December 28th 2009


115 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yea im gonna write the "meh" review for this lol. dibs

Kiran
Emeritus
March 13th 2010


6133 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

that melody in beach comber is delicious

timbo8
May 2nd 2010


633 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm loving this more and more with the approach of summer. Upped to 4.5.

Kiran
Emeritus
May 3rd 2010


6133 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah i upped my rating too, midnight train to groovetown

timbo8
October 5th 2010


633 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Some of the friendliest music around

Kiran
Emeritus
October 5th 2010


6133 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

the new single is awesome

Damus
January 1st 2013


594 Comments


I love this album. It's got such a great atmosphere to it. It's a very easy album to get lost in for a while.

juiceviaorange
February 12th 2013


1051 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I love "Days", just got this

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
March 8th 2013


27502 Comments


relaly good album, days is betta THo

HarperFoster
June 1st 2023


3 Comments


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