Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Best Coast - Crazy For You

Best Coast are an indie-pop girl group who make the kind of sun-drenched, hook-laden pop music that could only come from California. Lead singer Bethany Cosentino is also the current squeeze of Wavves' Nathan Williams, whose second album King Of The Beach is going head to head with Best Coast's debut Crazy For You as both were released this week. According to all the charts I've seen up til now, Bethany is outselling him indoors by some distance, which I like to imagine is adding some frisson to that relationship.

So what can I say about Crazy For You? The music is all fuzzy, jangling guitars and bright melodies, but the star of the show is Cosentino's vocal performance. Always featured high in the mix, Bethany sings in an innocent, girlish style repeating the simplest of mantras over and over ("I wish he was my boyfriend", "I want you so much" etc.) like a spoiled Veruca Salt type who won't stop until she gets what she wants.

High Points

Brevity is clearly a virtue for Cosentino and co, every track on Crazy For You is short and to the point; when you've already repeated the chorus a dozen times there's really nowhere else to go. Honey, a heavily reverbed track with a grungy almost Nirvana-esque sound is the only track that sneaks over the three minute mark, and then only by one second.

If you want to get a feel for this album in a single track, check out the title track Crazy for You, which probably sums it up best. A driving, Spector-eque guitar track plays second fiddle to Cosentino's voice, as she sings about her favourite subject, being helplessly in love with her man. "I want to hit you but then I'd kiss you / Want to kill you but then I'd miss you" she drones. The lyrics aren't exactly deep, you'd have to say, but that's hardly the point. This is bubblegum pop with a hipster polish, and at 1 minute 50 seconds there no time for it to lose it's flavour before it's gone.

The Verdict

Ultimately Crazy For You feel like an inconsequential album, but it does manage to capture something of the spirit of summer 2010. Throw it on at a barbecue, or chilling at the beach and you've got the soundtrack for a good time. There's little depth to it though, either musically or lyrically, which means it's unlikely to be an album you'll revisit in summers to come.

Final Score: 60%


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