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Best Coast Plays This One
Review by Parissa Zecher. Photos by Joshua Pelta-Heller
It was as if nothing had changed from Best Coast’s first album, Crazy for You, “ during last Monday’s sold-out show featuring Bethany Cosentino, lead singer of Best Coast, as she emerged onstage, after Those Darlins finished their set at the Union Transfer, in a simple white cotton dress with moments of lace along her midriff, paired with Bobb Bruno, guitarist.
With their new album, “The Only Place,” we hear more fidelity and less distortion, but everything else pretty much remains the same. For those of us that had higher hopes for this new album in terms of intricate lyricism and diverse melodies, we will have to wait a little longer.
The show that night was performed in a theater with elegant, vintage chandeliers that hung from the ceiling, medieval-looking high archways and fog that lingered onstage in a darkly lit venue. The backdrop of the stage featured the album cover of Best Coast’s new album produced by Jon Brion, “The Only Place,” a grizzly bear affectionately clutching to the state of California.
In a previous interview with Bobb Bruno, he had mentioned that the band itself had not changed much from their previous album and that they were still the feel-good, surf- pop duo that had debuted their album, “Crazy for You,” in 2010 and who were musically influenced by bands such as, The Beach Boys, with a vibe heavily influenced by reverb.
Bobb was dead on. The fans seemed to be swaying along to every song, getting sweaty to Bethany and Bobb and singing along with Bethany, but the lyrics were almost too simple and to an strong appreciator of music, somewhat of a disappointment. The lyrics were scarce at times and the melodies had been recycled within this new album.
However, where Best Coast’s lyrics fall short, Bethany’s voice is phenomenal. That girl belted it out even when the chorus of “How They Want Me to Be,” sounded eerily similar to “Up All Night.” Luckily for the duo, dedicated fans seemed to take no notice, completely content with the catchy songs and simplicity of the track list of this new album.
Bethany and Bobb can without a doubt get their fans engaged. Bethany has flawless stage performance and Bobb lingers in the shadows of his modesty next to Bethany in the spotlight. It cannot be debated that the duo offers raw talent. We do not question it because it is handed to us onstage like a gift from the effortless Bethany Cosentino who reminisced on the past by saving “Boyfriend,” off of “Crazy for You,” for last.
So, when Bobb Bruno declares that Best Coast is the same band that they ever were, I ask the people of the audience, does that completely satisfy you?