ALBUM REVIEW: “The Only Place” by Best Coast

May 14. 2012 | By Mayumi Okamoto

Best Coast
The Only Place
[Mexican Summer]

Just in time for summer, Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno remind us why the West Coast is the best coast with their second effort, The Only Place. Best Coast stays true to their sunny beach pop roots that quickly amassed a following in the summer of 2010 with the release of Crazy for You. However, The Only Place finds the band making a slight divergence in sound from the fuzzy to the refined with assistance from producer Jon Brion. There are definite hints of old-timey tributes to the 1950s with Bruno’s rambling rockabilly-esque guitar lines (“Why I Cry” and “Let’s Go Home”) and a nod to the girl groups of the 1960s in the rise-and-fall dynamic of Cosentino’s vocals (“Last Year”) and topical references to quagmire of relationships.

The simplicity of Cosentino’s songwriting can be a bit maddening because of its predictability and repetitiveness. At times you feel like she is singing to you from the pages of an anonymous person’s journal as the lyrics lack any traces of personalization and real emotion. The Only Place is not an album that captures you deep in thought, but it is a fun album to rotate into your summer playlist for backyard barbeques or road trips down Highway 101.

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