The Only Place
The blaring difference in this new offering from Best Coast is how quiet it is compared to Crazy for You, but it would be misleading to say that this new record is a departure from Bethany’s bedroom musings and Bob’s playful melodies. Lyrically speaking, it still feels as if we’re reading our younger sister’s diary, with songs about withstanding external pressures (“How They Want Me to Be,” “Dreaming My Life Away”) and nostalgia (“My Life,” “Better Girl,” “Let’s go Home”). The music is still melodic; both music and lyrics seem to be better thought-out and focused on cataloging the perspective of an indie-world darling. The 11 tracks on this album are cleverly arranged to keep the listener engaged for the duration of the album; the opener and most easily accessible track, “The Only Place,” has all the makings of being on the next romantic comedy soundtrack, and by the end of the closing song, the haunting Up all Night, we’ve gone through something that sounds like audio catharsis. The absence of distortion on The Only Place not only jettisons the lo-fi tag but also places the focus on the songwriting. After listening to the entire album one still gets those feelings of reading the diary of a lovelorn hopeless romantic; but instead of feeling like the girl penning these lines is on the verge of plunging herself headlong into the Pacific, we feel comforted, and know that she’ll be just fine … with her boyfriend.