Review Summary: "This is not a black and white world/To be alive, I say that the colours must swirl"
Beach House in 2015. File under: Contrasts, dude. They certainly seem to have been the buzzword in the Beach House, uh, house. Depression Cherry
was... well, it was titled 'Depression Cherry
', and yet its vibrant red cover signalled a more hopeful attitude which was reflected in its colourful, sky-gazing tunes. Thank Your Lucky Stars
might seem a continuation of that ideal if you go off the album title, but again it's a deliberate misconception, with the album's more pessimistic lyrical themes skewing the peaceful title to something closer to a snarled instruction. And, just as Depression Cherry
was soulful, Thank Your Lucky Stars
proudly stands in a contrast as a fairly flat affair.
Which is funny, because on the surface level there's really not a whole lot to distinguish the two. All the ingredients of the Depression Cherry
pie are still here; Legrand's gorgeous melodies, a hint of evil fuzz humming away in the background, production so obsessed with gazing at its shoes that it could walk straight off a cliff. Fans around the world probably groaned when the dreaded p-word (“political”) was dropped alongside mention of the new album, but fear not, there's no scathing attacks on Blair or Abraham Lincoln samples in sight. Rather, the slightly broader focus on topics outside the realm of the heart zooms out the lens on a band who weren't exactly known for specificity in the first place. If there's anything political to be found, it's a dyed-in-the-wool cynicism, born and bred in the modern atmosphere of distrust.
When it comes down to it, Thank Your Lucky Stars
feels like exactly what it is – a victim of circumstance. Until two weeks ago, Depression Cherry
was entirely its own event, a self-contained, totally satisfactory product by a band that we expected to deliver nothing less. By releasing another album less than two months later, it inevitably taints the picture so that now we have a conception of the two as parts of a whole, release statement be damned. This leads to a slight cheapening of the former album, no longer a record in its own right but a box with half the puzzle pieces; and it also leads to an unavoidable letdown when the second box comes, and all along it was just a picture of a cat or something.