Best Coast
California Nights


3.5
great

Review

by ZackSh33 USER (55 Reviews)
May 1st, 2015 | 29 replies


Release Date: 2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: [insert pop-rock melody here]

Best Coast, a band that played a role in bringing chillwave into popularity courtesy of their lo-fi production, and lyrics about cats, boyfriends, and wishing your cat was your boyfriend, have been trying their best to find their true sound since their emergence five years ago. After a disastrous sophomore release, the band successfully resuscitated themselves, making the remarkable transition from being lo-fi bedroom based lurkers, to pop-rock mavens on their seven track EP, Fade Away. Honing in more on the clean, polished sound that they had introduced on their second album, Fade Away effortlessly combined echoing drums, Bobb Bruno’s melodic guitar tone, and Bethany Constellano’s double tracked vocals into a short, sweet, and nearly perfect release. It appeared that Best Coast had finally turned a corner with their sound, and were now confident enough to release an album that they felt would be their most complete and memorable to date.

The duo’s third album, generically titled California Nights, is essentially a continuation of the sound that Best Coast dove into on Fade Away, and while it remains a pleasant listen, it often shows the limitations of the band and their new sound by driving it into the ground without any hesitation. There are only so many times you can create songs based off of the same melodies, tempos, and chord progressions, and unfortunately, there is very little that stretches the limits of their sound on here, and even less that will stick out as being better than any of the material on Fade Away. The similarities begin to pile up on songs like “So Unaware,” “Fine Without You,” “Run Through My Head,” “When Will I Change” all sound like simple rewrites of previous tracks, and after a while, you begin to realize that you yourself could play the same down-beat, bass pedal heavy drum pattern that often emphasizes the verse structure and the hooks. Lyrically, Consentino still focuses on the topics of love, loss, and regret –and, in true Best Coast form, there are some truly cringing moments (the way Consentino delivers “I sit around/you watch TV/you ignore me” on “In My Eyes” and “this love will be the death of me/and you’ll always be a part of me” on the forgettable “Fading Fast” stick out as two of the worst). Ultimately, the lyrics perform their essential function of mimicking the melody of the music behind them, but unfortunately, nothing more. To be blunt, a good number of the twelve tracks on California Nights are not very dynamic or far-reaching, and often sound more pedestrian or paint by numbers than anything else.

That said, there are highlights, mainly in the choruses. “Jealousy” has an irresistible, repetitious “sha-na-na” that drives the melody of the song straight into your head, “In My Eyes” shows off Consentino’s strength at hitting high notes, and opening track “Feeling OK” opens up the set nicely, but perhaps that is only because it is the first instance of hearing essentially the same song on the album. The ultimate glimmer of hope for most fans of this band comes in the form of the title track, which is, surprisingly, the longest track on the album by over a minute. “California Nights,” is an atmospheric gem that sounds nothing like the other tracks on here, and it sounds even better in context mainly because it lets the album breathe a little bit. Consentino’s voice echoes, the guitar slowly rings and drones; it touches on shoegaze, but never fully escapes the band’s pop sensibilities, coming off as an easier to swallow version of Mazzy Star. If the title track, alongside the slow-burning final track “Wasting Time,” are any indication of where the band might be heading in the future – away from the straight up pop-rock arrangements and more towards a polished and simultaneously atmospheric sound, then perhaps Best Coast’s next release will be the one that ends up defining their career.



Recent reviews by this author
Now (US) Now That's What I Call Music! 3Superorganism Superorganism
Tame Impala Currents B-Sides and RemixesNoel Gallagher's High Flying Birds Who Built the Moon?
Now (US) Now That's What I Call Music! 2Liam Gallagher As You Were
user ratings (76)
3
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
ZackSh33
May 1st 2015


682 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Streaming here: http://irlirl.tumblr.com/bestcoast



Comments and feedback are always appreciated!



As you could probably guess, the main problem I had on this album was the lack of variety in the songs - I was stuck between giving this a 3 and a 3.5, but ultimately decided on the latter because the hooks are still quality on most every track despite the similar sounding nature of the album as a whole.



radkeronnie
May 2nd 2015


178 Comments


Beth is rlly cute. I liked Crazy for You but it's not really something i listen to regularly. kind of a dumb but fun poolside album. i might check this out

RogueNine
May 2nd 2015


4089 Comments


Callllllifornia niiiiiiights

Make me feeeeeeeeelllllll

So happyyy I could diiiiiiiie

Snake.
May 2nd 2015


21818 Comments


annoying af band

bluesparrow
May 2nd 2015


65 Comments


Cosentino desperately needs to change up her sound.

sportsboy
May 5th 2015


696 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

how much of a parody of yourself can you possibly be: the album

Digging: Big Baby Scumbag - Juvenile Hell

Comatorium.
May 5th 2015


4878 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

That title track though

radkeronnie
May 5th 2015


178 Comments


how much of a parody of yourself can you possibly be: the album[2]

down to the title

SowingSeason
Moderator
May 6th 2015


32832 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I've heard bits of their past works but this is the first time I'm willing to dive into an entire album of theirs. It's just refreshingly fun and upbeat. Nice review, pretty much covers what you'd want to know about this.

Digging: Coldplay - Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends

RadicalEd
May 6th 2015


9546 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

this is so generic. Title track is worthwile, the rest of the album fails to make a dent.

ZackSh33
May 6th 2015


682 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@Sowing - thanks! Wish the album got a little more attention, to be honest. They do have some serious talent, but a lot of times it just is hidden behind some inconsistency.

bluesparrow
May 7th 2015


65 Comments


Review doesn't correspond with a 3.5 rating imo. You talk about the band's past in the first paragraph, the second (and longest) is overwhelmingly negative, and the third paragraph says maybe a third of the album is salvageable. The review itself isn't bad, I'm just not sure how it corresponds to the rating you gave it

SowingSeason
Moderator
May 7th 2015


32832 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Feeling OK is such a fun jam. I think I actually like this more than the new MMJ.

ZackSh33
May 7th 2015


682 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@bluesparrow yeah, i see what you're saying. Like i said though, just because its repetitive doesn't mean its bad. I actually really like what they're doing with the new sound in general, its just the ideas are recycled.



Album is still pretty damn catchy.

ZackSh33
May 7th 2015


682 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'd probably give this a 3.3 if possible, tbh.

RadicalEd
May 8th 2015


9546 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Title track is a banger, they need to take that sound and fucking run with it. Everything else is so bland.



You're review is good and reads very well, although bluesparrows criticism is kinda justified.

ZackSh33
May 8th 2015


682 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@Ed thanks for the feedback. Glad you enjoyed the review. We seem to agree that the sound of the title track is the way they should go in the future.



I'm going to stick by my guns with the 3.5 (for now). Again, probably would have picked something a tad lower if that was possible - but, some of the songs sheer catchiness definitely justify it (at least for me)

theNateman
May 18th 2015


3803 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This album is really good if you ignore their first couple of releases.

gryndstone
May 20th 2015


1381 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The Only Place was kind of ass, But i think their earlier stuff was good.



This grew on me a bit. Must be summer rearing its head

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
May 22nd 2015


15046 Comments


is not bad



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy