Sunday, 23 September 2012

Music: Keep or Cull No.16: Best Coast - Crazy for You (2010)

A cute girl singing cute songs about love and longing might not be the music that a man in his late-20s should actively seek out and pay for, but in 2010 that’s exactly what I did. I first came across Best Coast while flicking through the various MTV variants looking for something of vague interest (I have long given up on that often futile task). A dark-haired girl with a guitar was singing a song about wishing she had a boyfriend, and I was immediately intrigued. The subject matter might be a bit soppy, on the verge of being vomit inducing, but there was something about the naval-gazing lo-fi guitar sound and the nostalgic reverb soaked tones that really struck a chord with me. I should have hated this song, but I didn’t.

Crazy for You opens with the aforementioned ‘Boyfriend’, a song that can only be described as perfect pop. Its sound is reminiscent of 1950s girl groups, with sumptuous backing vocals and repeated lyrical lines. What makes this track avoid sounding cheesy and derivative is the guitar work: distorted and spacious; a pop-tinged psychedelic drone at points feeling like Kevin Shields’ solo efforts on the Lost in Translation soundtrack with some mean indie hooks thrown in for good measure. The titular ‘Crazy for You’ is pure jangle-pop that is over before it even gets started: a quick verse / chorus / verse / chorus with gorgeous vocals that leave you wanting more. ‘When the Sun don’t Shine’ is probably my favourite track on the album, with thundering drums and a vocal melody to die for. ‘Bratty B’ is pure surf-pop brilliance. ‘Honey’ feels like Hole at their most pensive, and is probably one of the most introspective songs on the album. Album-closer ‘When I’m With You’ builds being lazy and dreamy into another honey-dripping slab of pure pop genius. ...

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