Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno of Best Coast, the surf pop outfit from Los Angeles, return with their sophomore LP The Only Place. Since the release of their debut album, 2010’s Crazy For You, Best Coast has toured extensively, supported Planned Parenthood, advertised for Converse, shot a music video directed by Drew Barrymore and, recently, been the creative force behind a Cosentino-Urban Renewal collaboration for Urban Outfitters. Despite the big-name side projects, Best Coast hasn’t changed musically. Their beachy sound swells in much the same way it did two years ago when the world went crazy for Best Coast. In The Only Place, Cosentino and Bruno chose to keep riding out the crest of the surf rock waves with their ocean foam a fuzzy chorus of ooh’s and la-la-la’s.
It is risky, certainly, to hope the sound didn’t crash against a shore of high expectations. No worries. Most fans expected more of the same — simple chords and harmonies coupled with dreamy, faraway vocals and all the fuzzy wuzzy charm of a California bear. Best Coast has a loveable catchiness precisely because it captures the spirit of Southern California as per Cosentino’s romanticized vision.
Not surprisingly, like the sound, the lyrics’ themes are familiar. It’s Cosentino and Bruno racing around sunny LA with the top down or Cosentino brooding about boys, crushes, friends and boredom. The closest Cosentino gets to depth is the closing track “Up All Night,” which any savvy Best Coast fan will know has been floating around the internet since 2010, albeit in a decidedly lo-fi form. So what if The Only Place isn’t a refreshing change in sound for Best Coast? Why would you need anything else? This is the only place for Cosentino — splashing in the musical waters of her California love and she hopes you’re as crazy for it as she is
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