Passion enriches the human experience of every man and woman known to roam earth. No matter what clouds our goals, it remains amongst heaven awaiting us to act. Gliding in from pacific waters comes a duo satiated by reliable sun — a garage rock, surf pop, low-fi Los Angeles based brand we like to call Best Coast. The Only Place LP is produced by composer Jon Brion (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Punch-Drunk Love), eliciting a fresher sound than before, a much needed change given the circumstance.
The record begins with a cheerful ode depicting Southern California to mere perfection, as Cosentino’s voice points fingers at Dee Dee Penny of Dum Dum Girls fame. The place in which we are born never leaves as we often return time and again through any available medium. This, of course, happens here where solid pop songs take on a Californian feel no man can describe. Not all the album is rich and warm like one may think for, following the enthusiastic single, “Why I Cry,” “Last Year” and “No One Like You” bode palpable grief.
Perhaps that is what Bethany Cosentino and, multi-instrumentalist, Bobb Bruno wanted; their mutual admiration for song is captured between measures stretching far and wide. Saying Best Coast do a good job cramming these emotions into one disc before having a listen is ignorant, for our purpose is to decide once we are in position to critique. What’s fair and obvious is the attention to detail found in melancholy tracks like “How They Want Me To Be.” The line “When I wake up in the morning or the middle of the night, I wonder who’s there and what they’ve said” brings legitimacy to a cut highlighting acceptance.
Not a bad project for kids who lead normal lives, drawing inspiration from looking up. Bethany Cosentino was made to sing songs we wish could come from our throats; her mastery of song mechanics is genetic thanks to her musician father. Pulling away from “How You Want Me To Be,” Best Coast transitions into ballads for a time, both sentimental and motivating, “Better Girl” and “Dreaming My Life Away” stand alone on the album.
Remember it is always passion, as well as our fear of never succeeding or becoming what we set out to be, which drive us to do more for society and, in turn, ourselves. Nothing else affects our want or need except self-determination. If we do not thrust into action, we may as well rot. Best Coast knows of this as they pore over thorough thoughts circulating around, crafting three more tracks meant for the Golden State. “Do You Love Me Like You Used To” and “Let’s Go Home” are reminiscent to road mixes set on Route 66 during summer. Journeys end once they begin. Doing the album of service, Best Coast close it out the only way they know, with a soothing waltz. “Up All Night” paints a picture of peace and tranquility where adulation runs rampant.
Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno look not to slow anytime soon, for they are on a thirty-four city tour until July. In whole, The Only Place is a summer album worth a look, so turn it up loud and get ready to see Southern California like never before. For more information, log on to http://www.bestcoast.us/ .
05-25 Aspen, CO – Belly Up *
05-26 Boulder, CO – Fox Theater *
05-27 Lawrence, KS – Granada *
05-29 Omaha, NE – Slowdown *
05-30 St. Louis, MO – Firebird *
06-01 Dallas, TX @ Granada Theater *
06-02 Houston, TX @ Free Press Fest *
06-03 Austin, TX @ Chaos in Tejas *
06-16 Glasgow, Scotland – Garage
06-17 Manchester, England – HMV Ritz
06-18 Birmingham, England – Academy
06-20 London, England – SBE
06-21 Brighton, England – Coalition
06-22 Isle of Wight, England – Isle of Wight Festival
06-24 Atlantic City, NJ – Metallica’s Orion Festival ^
07-09 Orlando, FL – The Social ^
07-10 Miami, FL – Grand Central ^
07-12 Atlanta, GA – Variety ^
07-13 Chapel Hill, NC – Cat’s Cradle ^
07-14 Washington, DC – 9:30 Club ^
07-16 Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer ^
07-17 New York, NY – Terminal 5 ^
07-18 Boston, MA – Royale ^
07-20 Montreal, Quebec – Le National ^
07-21 Toronto, Ontario – Pheonix ^
07-23 Columbus, OH – Newport Theater ^
07-24 Cleveland, OH – Beachland Ballroom ^
07-25 Madison, WI – Majestic ^
07-27 Chicago, IL – Vic ^
* with JEFF the Brotherhood
^ with Those Darlins