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Album Review

by Grizzly Bear


Review Date
Monday 13th July
Reviewed by
Paul Gallagher

Success. Big time success. That's what the release of 'Veckatimest' has brought indie-stayers Grizzly Bear. You've all heard this album and the tracks 'Cheerleader' and 'Two Weeks'. They've had a fairly charmed and twisting road to this album, after their first full length release 'Horn of Plenty' and the much (though queitly...) acclaimed sophomore effort 'Yellow House'. But 2007's 'Friend' EP for me marked a speed bump in the road to indie hero-status - the covers by Band of Horses and Brazilian dance-yawners CSS certainly failed to deliver the charm contained within the 'Horn of Plenty' remixes by Ariel Pink, Efterklang and Black Dice / Animal Collective cohorts Hisham Bharoocha and Rusty Santos.

'Veckatimest', however, is a return to form. It would seem that everything Ed Droste and Dan Rossen touches turns to gold. Other than the well-listened to aforementioned tracks of 'Cheerleader' and 'Two Weeks', there is much within this album that excites. Rossen takes the track 'All We Ask' and gives it the Department of Eagles-treatment before it rises above and beyond what he's done prior to that point. The closing two or three songs offer an outstanding jilting shuffle of melodies - particularly 'I Live With You' and 'WhileYou Wait For The Others'.

I've heard it said that Grizzly Bear are alright but a bit, um, dull. You know what? Fair enough. To a degree such sentiment might be right. There's not much in 'Veckatimest' that you can't find in their prior releases; it's an extension of their past aesthetic that delivers exactly what their enthusiastic fans want to listen to. But it's just so nice, so pleasant, so necessary and so un-contrived sounding. It is a damn GOOD album.

But success on such a grand scale. How will this band handle that? With an album longingly named after a remote and uninhabited island and a grand multi-date Fall tour schedule staring them in the face, you have to wonder how the aesthetic might now marry with all the popularity. They've always been a group of guys setting out to make good music and hopefully the season of leaked tracks, sold-out shows and multi-thousand album sales won't change a damned thing.

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