Posted by Justin Hoyt
With the Release of their third album Baltimore duo Beach House have created one of the most awe-inspiring musical balancing acts in recent memory. 2008's Devotion, which was one of the years best albums turns out to be nothing but an appetizer to this melodic feast. Alex Scally's guitar provides the backdrop for this opus, while singer/keyboardist Victoria Legrand's vocals prove as powerful as any singer's in the business. What is most noticeable about this band is they have mastered a level of constraint with their music. Scally's guitars could easily could have been pushed to the forefront showcasing his brilliant chord progression's but overtaking the organ's hum or Legrand's voice. Legrand has proven she has the pipes to hit any note but does not feel the need to. Rather, her voice accompanies the instrumentation leaving the album truly sounding like a group effort instead of a Victoria Legrand solo album (which far too many female vocalists do).
The tempo on Teen Dream will be surprising to Beach House listeners. I was floored to hear the drums kick in with the fervor they did on the albums opening track "Zebra", and while I expected the tempo to drop the intensity remains throughout the album. The group has mastered the art of making high tempo slow jams, sexy and sultry without becoming monotonous. There is a duality that lies in this album and even track by track. I could see myself listening to this after a bad breakup but just as well during a new romance. I could drive fast as hell or at a slow motion creep to this album, in fact I think a dark highway drive might just be in order with this one. Let this album creep into your head, it is not background music as much as the band might fool you into believing it is.