Beach House - Teen Dream
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Beach House's sound was fully formed at the time of their 2006 debut. They had slow, shadowy dream-pop down; at times they recalled Mazzy Star or Galaxie 500, but songs like "Apple Orchard" and "Master of None" had a dark and blurry resonance all their own. Artists that start out so assured and distinctive can run into trouble on second, third, and fourth records. Hardcore fans are there no matter what, but others may wonder: Do I need another album from this band? When I'm in the mood for what they bring, can't I just put on what I already have?
Teen Dream, Beach House's third album and first for Sub Pop, obliterates these concerns. This is both the most diverse and most listenable of their three full-lengths, and yet it never seems like a compromise. It feels like the product of careful, thoughtful growth, bringing in new influences-- bits of mid-1970s Fleetwood Mac, sparkling indie pop, even a few soul and gospel touches--- while maintaining the group's core sound. Teen Dream is a stirring reminder that good things can happen when you move out of your comfort zone.