Beach House is a downtempo album, it’s full of dream pop sound, hypnotic melody, and lyrics reflecting heartbreak and loss, and if you like one song on this album, you’ll like them all. The lyrics leave much to the imagination however, they play off the dreamy soundscape, they read like short poems but sound like memories and thoughts; when there isn’t a copyright issue it works well, sometimes it just seems repetitive though, and doesn’t really take off as much as their later albums. Saltwater does a great job of opening the album and introducing that distinct Beach House sound, it definitely sounds like something is beginning, a sweet voice lets us know “you couldn’t lose me if you tried.” Tokyo Witch has a pleasant lazy keyboard melody to it, it fits the theme of a cold winter, there’s a sense of slowly wading that could just as easily be waiting – either way it works. Apple Orchard sounds like the Beach House most might know by now, an auto drum, a slow harmony, a long outro, while Master of None is next and picks up the tempo a bit. Alex Scally’s melodies behind the verses sound amazing and lyrics like “you always go to the parties to pluck the feathers off all the birds” reflect the poetic atmosphere found on any Beach House song that makes it worth listening to. House on the Hill later on is a sad song, there’s only a few lines of dialogue but the music does most of the talking, the spoken lyrics “you’d do anything just to reach our door, but I won’t be there,” have the impact of standing alone among the auto drum and bubbly keyboards. Heart and Lungs is the final song, Victoria Legrand sings “hold onto this house, all I have left is the only place I’ve been.” Perhaps she means the house on the hill. The hidden track, Rain in Numbers is a perfect outro, though the unaltered piano may sound out of place, it felt like reality kicking in, “she’s rolling down the window, but it always rains,” gives some closure to the ambiguous lyrics, the dream is over, but just for now. While not as strong as later albums, Beach House is a great introduction to their style, it’s perfect easy listening for a brightly lit room, or a green field, or maybe even at the beach house.
2006 / 36:38
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