Lydia Jenkin is an entertainment feature writer for the New Zealand Herald.

Album review: The Only Place - Best Coast

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Album cover for The Only Place by Best Coast. Photo / Supplied
Album cover for The Only Place by Best Coast. Photo / Supplied

Second albums are always tricky if you hit gold with your debut - which is exactly what Californians Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno did on their surfy-pop-rock first album Crazy For You. It was full of great 60s-esque pop hooks, but with a garage/low-fi aspect that made its simplicity smudgy and appealing. Producer Jon Brion has brightened and tightened their sound, and though it's certainly pretty, the results aren't as fresh.

There's still the old-fashioned homage to the sun-soaked LA lifestyle, and a "dear diary" lyrical style which addresses romance, doubt, and regret, in the simplest terms. Cosentino is no poet, but she's very genuine and unaffected, which is charming, and suits her guileless, classic, voice. It's musically classic too, more sparkling and lush than Crazy For You, and pretty catchy, but but the lack of lyrical complexity starts to wear after half an hour.

Stars: 3.5/5


- NZ Herald

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