Call it garage rock, surf pop, or just plain indie rock. Best Coast is the band whose music you would most likely find in the soundtrack of a movie. Their unique sound (which is very real compared to heavily auto-tuned and mass-produced music today) mainly consists of guitar and drums, that you would hear from a garage band from the 1960s or so. Emerging from LA, their sound is perfectly fitting for their surroundings, a very summer-esque type of music. Crazy For You, their debut album, put them on the map. Songs like “Our Deal,” “I Want To,” “Boyfriend” and “Happy” were some of my favorites from that record.
While Crazy For You was an album that was very light-hearted and overall fun to listen to, their second album, The Only Place, is more melancholic, and not as upbeat. Songwriter and frontwoman Bethany Consentino channels her more angsty, insecure self per se, making most of the album feel very mellow. Songs like “Do You Love Me Like You Used To” and “No One Like You” connect with certain listeners that have also felt like they are not enough for someone or felt the fears of loving too much. Meanwhile, Bob Brunno keeps the same chord progressions with the guitar in almost every song, which felt kind of repetitive, but kind of blend in with the whole theme of the album.
The highlights of the album were “The Only Place” (paying homage to California, of course, with lyrics like “We’ve got the ocean, got the babes/Got the sun, we’ve got the waves“) and “Up All Night”, which was the longest song of the album and the one that was the most heartfelt, imparting feelings of loneliness and uncertainty. Plus, it has catchy lyrics that even after I finished listening to the whole album, I was singing “I wanna see you, I wanna see you, forever and ever, forever and ever.”
Overall, The Only Place was a transition for Best Coast towards a more downbeat sound, yet keeping their garage sound the same. While it could have been better, it was a good effort on behalf of the band to channel those feelings and put them out there. But I’m not going to lie, I hope they get their upbeat feel back.