Punknews.org
Best Coast - The Only Place (Cover Artwork)

Best Coast

Best Coast: The Only PlaceThe Only Place (2012)
Mexican Summer

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: thepopeofchili-townthepopeofchili-town
(others by this writer | submit your own)

With the weather outside getting warmer, what better time for a new Best Coast album? The Only Place, the group's second full-length for Mexican Summer, still finds Bethany Cosentino singing lovelorn songs about boys, her cat and the beach over Bobb Bruno's sun-drenched guitars, but the duo has made.
iTunes StoreAmazon


With the weather outside getting warmer, what better time for a new Best Coast album? The Only Place, the group's second full-length for Mexican Summer, still finds Bethany Cosentino singing lovelorn songs about boys, her cat and the beach over Bobb Bruno's sun-drenched guitars, but the duo has made a few small tweaks to its sound that work, for the most part.

Through non-stop touring, Cosentino has expanded her range and improved considerably as a vocalist, sounding like a less raspy version of her "fashion icon" Stevie Nicks on a few songs. Her stronger vocal prowess is apparent from the onset of the opening title track. The song itself is a love letter to the duo's home state of California and sets the tone for the album perfectly. Lines like "We've got the ocean / Got the babes / We've got the sun / We've got the waves" immediately put you in the summery state of mind that is the band's motif.

The Only Place is not a radical reinvention of the Best Coast sound by any means, but the band does manage to stretch its legs a bit. "Last Year" features more muscular guitars than the group typically employs and has a bit of a grungy vibe. The stop-start rhythms of mid-album highlight "Do You Love Me Like You Used To?" allow Cosentino's vocals to take center stage. It's the kind of song that could dominate radio if given the right push. Several tracks showcase a light country tinge that we haven't heard from the duo before, and "Better Girl" features a bluesy guitar lick that is more than a little similar to the Gaslight Anthem's "The Diamond Street Church Choir."

The most immediately noticeable difference between Best Coast 2012 and the band who gave us Crazy for You is a pretty substantial leap up in production values, courtesy of Mr. Jon Brion. Famed for his work with acts like Fiona Apple and Kanye West, in addition to scoring films like Magnolia and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Brion was an interesting choice to twist the knobs, and he gives the group a sheen not heard on prior releases. This upgrade in production values may be a bit of a blessing and a curse for the band, however. While the songs are now more distinguishable from one another, the lo-fi charm of their earlier works is what endeared a lot of listeners to the band, and with that gone, The Only Place is a pretty straightforward pop rock album.

Best Coast has avoided the sophomore slump with The Only Place. They've stuck with what they do best while trying their hand at a few experiments here and there. Anyone who was a fan of Best Coast's music in the past, and not just their lo-fi haze, should enjoy The Only Place.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Andrew Jackson Jihad - Knife ManBomb the Music Industry! - VacationJoyce Manor - Never Hungover AgainJoyce Manor - Of All Things I Will Soon Grow TiredTouché Amoré - Parting the Sea Between Brightness and MeDead To Me - Moscow Penny AnteBanner Pilot - Heart Beats PacificChuck Ragan - Covering GroundBanquets - Top Button, Bottom ShelfSHARKS - The Joys of Living 2008-2010

Please login or register to post comments.What are the benefits of having a Punknews.org account?
  • Share your opinion by posting comments on the stories that interest you
  • Rate music and bands and help shape the weekly top ten
  • Let Punknews.org use your ratings to help you find bands and albums you might like
  • Customize features on the site to get the news the way you want.
Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
EchosMyron (May 24, 2012)

I just wanted to see if I could get the user rating under two stars.

slymer (May 22, 2012)

I tried listening to Hop Along. I like this more.

Blackjaw_ (May 22, 2012)

Listen to Hop Along instead.

ollywood (May 22, 2012)

I'll have to give to this a listen as I enjoyed the last album quite a bit. I generally am much more focused on the music and it can take me a while to begin to listening to the lyrics of songs, so it says a lot when I found the lyrics on the last album to be distractingly bad. Still I managed to prevail and enjoy that album which is a testament to how good it was. The music was simple but worked, Beth Const...whatever does know how to compose a song, but the lyrics definitely brings down her music quite a bit. it's rare that I even ever notice. I can usually only take so much "Crazy/Lazy." That said Im not really a fan of bands playing other peoples songs, so I guess I wouldn't have it any other way.

alpod4 (May 22, 2012)

but not enough 'OOOOoooooOOOOOOoooooo"s on this one.

alpod4 (May 22, 2012)

it grown on me quite a bit. the two "bonus tracks" are the best songs on the album. The rerecording of "angsty" is so perfect.

r3vengetherapy (May 22, 2012)

Why would she want people to stop smoking weed and listening to her music? That's apparently all she does anyway.

I'm pretty sure that even high, this band would end up boring most people. I liked their early singles a bit, but ever since that first LP I've found them to be really boring.

Chadreligion (May 22, 2012)

I tried listening to this after a female friend suggested over and over.....
The music isn't bad, but it's pretty uninspired(especially if the record is supposed to be audio travel brochure for California). Come one... "When we get bored, we like to sit around; sit around and stare".... these lyrics were written with a fifth-graders ear in mind. The part that gets me the most is when this Cosentino chick was interviewed for the promotion of the album, and she said she wanted people to stop smoking weed to her music and to start making babies to it. How can you fuck listening to kids-bop for hipsters???

Portulaca (May 22, 2012)

Most vapid lyrics ever. This band would benefit from hiring someone to write their lyrics.

oldgospelchoir (May 22, 2012)

terrible.

renaldo69 (May 22, 2012)

classic

Zach_post (May 22, 2012)

I agree. I miss the lo-fi past, but it came out beautiful.

cnvertbleweathr (May 22, 2012)

El-P's work on Killer mike's new record is pretty decent too. Best Coast is just the worst

cnvertbleweathr (May 22, 2012)

Cats, weed, and dudes. Right up my alley

jimothygypsum (May 22, 2012)

ya the new el-p album is pretty fucking brilliant

mahalfy (May 22, 2012)

I enjoy this record, it will be a good one to spin on a hot day here in California.

Exclusive Streams

Sponsored


Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Other Places to Go