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Best Coast — The Only Place

 Best Coast — The Only Place

Best Coast — The Only Place
≡    Noisy lo-fi pop duo who draw inspiration from '60s surf rock and girl groups.
≡    "The album was listed at #14 on Rolling Stone's list of the top 50 albums of 2012, saying "With less reverb-y guitar haze to hide behind, her voice comes into its own as one of indie rock's mightiest."
≡    "And like traditional blues singers, Cosentino seeks to overcome bad times by sharing them with others. When she sings, "I want to be a better girl," you get the feeling that she's looking for a way to escape from a very dark place. If great art is its own reward, The Only Place gives her one real reason to be optimistic." — Jon Young (Spin.com)
Location: Los Angeles, California
Album release: April 15, 2012/2013
Recorded: 2011–12, Studio B, Capitol Records, Los Angeles
Record Label: Mexican Summer/Wichita
Duration:     50:25
Tracks:
01. The Only Place      (2:43)
02. Why I Cry      (2:19)
03. Last Year      (3:33)
04. My Life      (2:12)
05. No One Like You      (3:02)
06. How They Want Me To Be      (3:53)
07. Better Girl      (2:54)
08. Do You Love Me Like You Used To      (3:16)
09. Dreaming My Life Away      (3:22)
10. Let's Go Home      (2:35)
11. Up All Night      (4:47)
12. Mean Girls      (3:41)
13. Angsty      (2:56)
14. Storms (Fleetwood Mac cover; written by Stevie Nicks)      (4:14)
15. Take My Breath Away      (5:09)
≡  All songs written and composed by Bethany Cosentino.
Personnel:
Best Coast:
≡  Bethany Cosentino — vocals, guitar (born: 10/03/1987)
≡  Bobb Bruno — drums, guitar, bass guitar
Additional musicians:
≡  Jon Brion — percussion, keyboards, 12-string guitar, lap steel, six-string bass
Recording personnel:
≡  Jon Brion — producer
≡  Greg Koller — engineer, mixing
≡  Eric Caudieux — editor
≡  Jake Gorski — assistant engineer
≡  Chandler Harrod — assistant engineer
≡  Patricia Sullivan — mastering
Artwork:
≡  Dan Schechter — art direction, design
≡  David Black — in-studio photography
≡  Jess Rotter — landscape illustration
Music and artwork:
≡  Title track The Only Place has been described as a "summery, jangly love letter to California" that is "bigger in sound and scope" than Crazy for You. The cover illustration, a brown bear (the state animal) embracing the state of California, is a modified version of the sheet music for the state song, "I Love You, California" (1913).
Description:
≡  The Only Place is the follow-up to the acclaimed Crazy For You and finds Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno maturing in both sound and perspective. This album finds front woman Cosentino transitioning into adulthood, with the feeling of uncertainty and self-doubt at the emotional center of the album. As with all of Best Coast's previous recordings, on The Only Place Cosentino handles all songwriting, lyrics, vocals and rhythm guitar, while multi-instrumentalist Bobb Bruno plays lead guitar, bass and drums. What's new this time is their decision to work with producer and composer Jon Brion.
In french:
≡  J'en profite pour compléter la discographie de "Best Coast", voici leur second album, le premier avait déja été proposé a sa sortie (Il est a nouveau disponible).
Website: http://www.bestcoast.us/
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJW00gx4wvE
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Review by Tim Sendra | Score:  **½
≡  For their second album, The Only Place, California duo Best Coast hired Jon Brion as producer. Right away it's clear that the fuzzily lo-fi noise pop sound of their debut, Crazy for You, was a thing of the past, and the band was looking to smooth things out quite noticeably. Hiring Brion to produce a noise pop record is like asking Rothko to paint your mailbox. What he and the band have done is replace the simplistic drone of the distorted guitars with a more layered, much janglier sound, added tons of space to the arrangements, and made sure each song gets the sonic approach it needs instead of the set-it-up-and-record-it style of Crazy. The result is an album that has a classic pop/rock sound that anyone who's heard an R.E.M. or Beach Boys or Springsteen record will instantly identify with and understand. It may disappoint anyone who wanted Crazy for You, Pt. 2, but the band didn't make this record for those people. On a sonic level alone, the record works very well. Bethany Cosentino reliably writes super-catchy melodies and sings them winningly, Bobb Bruno does a fine job filling in the songs with hooky guitar lines, and Brion adds the little touches that have made his name as a producer. The uptempo songs have a light bounce that will have people bopping along, the ballads have fully realized arrangements that sound dreamy as can be, and the whole record has a warmth that was missing from anything the band did before. The problem lies with Cosentino's awful lyrics. What seemed cute and only a little awkward in the past is now extremely clunky and slightly ridiculous. That her lyrics are shallow isn't such a big deal -- it didn't ruin Crazy -- but the real problem is that this time they are gratingly personal to the point of being like diary entries (as on "My Life" with the lines "My mom was right/I don't wanna die/I wanna live my life") or smug (on her title-track ode to California that includes the deathless rhyme "We've got the ocean, we've got the babes/We've got the sun, we've got the waves") or just plain boring and/or embarrassing (most everywhere else). Instead of making Crazy for You, Pt. 2, she's made Crazy for Me, Me, Me. When lyrics are so endlessly, inwardly directed as they are on The Only Place, there needs to be some spark of something interesting cooking in there, or the result will be an album that looks like a delicious cake but tastes like sawdust and chalk when you bite into it. Give the group credit for taking a step forward from Crazy for You: the album sounds great, full of catchy and well-crafted songs. Too bad it all falls apart so drastically when you factor in Cosentino's disastrous lyrics. (www.allmusic.com)
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REVIEW
by STEPHEN THOMPSON | May 06, 201210:33 PM
≡  For all its frothily primitive charm, Best Coast's 2010 debut Crazy for You isn't exactly ambitious: It's going for, well, frothily primitive charm, captured in deceptively simple sentiments like "When I'm with you, I have fun." Darkness stays mostly confined to the instrumental shading, and in the want-bordering-on-need that seeps into Bethany Cosentino's flat but approachable delivery.
≡  Out May 15, The Only Place doesn't just advance Best Coast's formula; it perfects it. ≡  Producer Jon Brion applies a rich coat of shiny sparkle, as is his wont, but his touch complements these songs without threatening to overwhelm them. At 35 minutes, not a second of the album is wasted, even as Cosentino and multi-instrumentalist Bobb Bruno wind down the proceedings with a nearly five-minute ballad, "Up All Night." And, most of all, Cosentino's songwriting takes a massive leap forward on The Only Place: She's fully internalized countless girl groups' gift for employing sunny pop as a shield for pathos.
≡  "Why I Cry" may shimmer and chug with a sort of nuclear-powered agreeability, but its words provide a remarkably economical chronicle of clinical depression, with all its attendant hopelessness, frustrated alienation and pursuit of medicated indifference. ≡  Feel-good and feel-bad buzz around each other like binary stars throughout The Only Place, but joy ultimately reigns, thanks in large part to all those irresistibly chiming guitars.
≡  A sort of concept album about one woman's pursuit of joy and home (it's no coincidence that its cover depicts a cartoon bear hugging the state of California), The Only Place lets Cosentino find what she's looking for in the very first track, then asks her to venture inward in search of more. The album's title song may specifically sing the praises of her beloved home state — "Why would you live anywhere else? We've got the ocean, got the babes, got the sun, we've got the waves" — but even in celebration, Cosentino nails down the way comfort means the most to people who struggle to find it. (http://www.npr.org/)
Also:
By SIMON VOZICK-LEVINSON | MAY 8, 2012 | Score: ****
| http://www.rollingstone.com/music/albumreviews/the-only-place-20120508
By Mark Richardson | May 16, 2012 | Score: 6.2
| http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/16609-the-only-place/
By Evan Rytlewski | May 14, 2012 | Score: B-
| http://www.avclub.com/articles/best-coast-the-only-place,73936/
by Jon Young | May 14 2012, 9:58 AM ET | Score: 8
| http://www.spin.com/reviews/best-coast-only-place-mexican-summer/
By Randall Roberts:
≡  "... On “The Only Place,” that emotion is the joy of living in Southern California. “Why would you live anywhere else?” she wonders in a song tailor-made for a Chamber of Commerce-funded “I love L.A.” campaign, then lists some of the many charms of the region.
“We’ve got the ocean, got the babes/Got the sun, we’ve got the waves,” she sings before asking her rhetorical question of the title. Part of the answer lies in the weather, of course. But another answer is in the song itself. We also live here for the feeling we get when a good pop song — or, in the case of “The Only Place,” an entire album — hits the target and conjures the spirit of Southern California." (excerpt)
— See more at:  http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/music_blog/2012/05/album-review-best-coast-only-place-roberts.html
By Jude Rogers | The Guardian | Thursday 17 May 2012 22.30 BST
Score: **
| http://www.theguardian.com/music/2012/may/17/best-coast-only-place-review
BY NATALIE REYES | STAFF | http://www.dailycal.org/2012/05/16/best-coast-the-only-place/
By Adam Costa | May 21, 2012 |  
≡  "... People listen to Best Coast because sometimes it’s just way easier – and a lot more fun – to absorb a strummy 3-minute pop song about unrequited love on the beach than it is to, say, critically analyze a leviathan piece of art that draws its inspiration from the Greek myth of Hyacinthus." (excerpt)  | http://www.adequacy.net/2012/05/best-coast-the-only-place/ |
BY: ROB DUFFY | WED MAY 9, 2012 | GRID RATING: 4/10
| http://www.thegridto.com/culture/music/best-coast-the-only-place/
Picture:
≡  The Only Place was recorded at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles, known for its history with Frank Sinatra and The Beach Boys.
≡  Capitol Records Building, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California; seen from the "Hollywood and Vine" intersection / Camera location: 34° 6′ 5.43″ N, 118° 19′ 36.32″ WCapitol Records Building, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
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Best Coast — The Only Place

 

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