15 December 2009

Real Estate - Real Estate

This album is pretty chill, if totally overhyped.

The water theme on this album is really prominent- "Beach Comber", "Pool Swimmers", "Black Lake", "Green River", and "Let's Rock the Beach" (which doesn't rock at all). There's a pretty clear correlation between this theme and the music- it's summertime surf jams, all barbeques and limeade, rooftop parties and bike rides.

Real Estate is a relaxed, lo-fi album with good pop sensibilities. The singer is also a member of Ducktails, who shares a similar aesthetic of tropical grooves, relaxed jamming, and mountains of reverb. Maybe mountains isn't the right word, since all that reverb makes it sound like they recorded this stuff underwater (check out the vocals on "Pool Swimmers"). We'll say...eddies of reverb.

Much like Ducktails, some of the jammier songs on this album tend to lose me a little bit. since a lot of the songs are on the slower side of things, some of the jammy parts tend to plod along unconvincingly. Fortunately it picks up again about halfway through, starting with "Atlantic City", then "Fake Blues", and "Green River" (which is in no way related to the CCR song). "Suburban Beverage" starts out with a promising build-up, but eventually ends up in another half-baked jam. The album does end on a high note, with the inappropriately titled "Snow Days". It's all harmonies and slide guitars (and, from what I can tell, the only song with acoustic guitar), until it warps into a country jam, all drum rolls and fake endings.

As much as this album is generally decent, the main issue I have is that it's all a little same-same. The instruments, tone, and tempo are all the same song after song. So while a lot of the songs are good individually, they're not entirely memorable as individual songs. And while the album is generally good, there's too much idle jamming to make it memorable as a whole, replacing memorability with a vague notion of enjoyment.

Snow Days by regularexpress