Album Reviews: Best Coast, Cage the Elephant and Caroline Smith

Best-Coast-Fade-Away1

Best Coast- Fade Away

Grade: C

Release Date: October 22, 2013

It’s starting to look more and more like Bethany Cosentino doesn’t have anything to say anymore. Maybe it’s her love for California which has placed her into a heightened state where she has no need to develop interesting viewpoints, because nowadays Best Coast just sounds like the complaining of a closed off individual, which doesn’t translate into good music. That might have always been the truth too which is easier to notice in hindsight, but the lack of development from this band is really frustrating when you consider that it’s probably going to continue to be true for their future releases as well. Best Coast isn’t singing about anything new or profound but they’ve still formed themselves a solid fan base, a steady slot in festivals, and a strong social media presence. In other words, although it’s incredibly annoying to continuously hear her sing about how great California is and how she’s sad because of failure in relationships, Best Coast doesn’t really have to much of a reason to change their sound at this point because they have an audience for it.

Melophobia

Cage the Elephant- Melophobia

Grade: A-

Release Date: October 08, 2013

I’d managed to not listen to Cage the Elephant before this, and now I feel obligated to search their other albums because I really like Melophobia. Sometimes it’s got the sound and energy of a live show like in the album opener “Spiderhead”, but it’s been cleaned up enough to be heard as a proper album in a similar manner to what Slam Dunk did on Welcome to Miami last year. It’s a very raw sound which gets messed with a bit to often by adding unnecessary production effects and bad guest vocals (the presence of Alison Mosshart on “It’s Just Forever” is painful) but on the whole the sound stays consistently great to make it a fun listen. There’s screaming choruses, funny lines (personal favorite: “I think your mother wants me dead”), and boatloads of catchy guitar parts. There’s even surprisingly genuine moments like the album closer “Cigarette Daydreams”, Cage the Elephant brings a lot of great qualities to the table in this album and the final product is a really good listen.

Caroline Smith
Caroline Smith- Half About Being A Woman

Grade: C+

Release Date: October 08, 2013

Incredibly disappointed here. Back in 2011 Caroline Smith and the Goodnight Sleeps released one of the best albums of the year in Little Wind, and that was an eye opening experience for me about the hidden gems that could be found from artists that I wasn’t familiar with. Little Wind was a mixture of pop and folk sounds with Smith singing about insecurities in relationships, and the confidence she suddenly exudes on Half About Being a Woman isn’t really a welcomed change in sound. Smith switched from singing about how “ain’t that always how it seems to go, when something good comes oh it goes” to singing about wanting to find a man who can buy her things. It has the sound of a project where Caroline Smith really wanted to define the person that she was and switched to a neo-soul sound in order to do it, but I think she’s really just moving further away from her strengths. She’s got a fantastic voice still, but it’s not being used properly on this album.

One thought on “Album Reviews: Best Coast, Cage the Elephant and Caroline Smith”

  1. Hello! I’ve been following your blog for a long time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Dallas Tx!
    Just wanted to tell you keep up the fantastic work!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s