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Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast donned herself “Bratty B” in her rowdy yet sweet debut Crazy for You. She wrote catchy teen love songs that included her cat Snacks and a bunch of weed. But she got over all of that and grew up on Best Coast’s sophomore record.

The band’s previous California-dreaming guitar-fuzz tunes are now arranged cleaner into ‘70s pop rock. Although Cosentino still sings her problems in simple rhyme, the songwriting on Only Place is stronger. She doesn’t rely on one-liners as she shares subjects such as regret (“My Life”), dealing with distance (“Up All Night”), and even criticism (“How They Want Me to Be”).

Without the fuzz covering her voice, Cosentino displays her vocals with more confidence. She tries out ballads as much as fun pop, and the singer’s knack for hooks are still present, providing melodic lines with each song.

It’s as inviting to sing along with as the previous record, but Only Place is shot through with stress and gloom. Through thick and thin, Best Coast progresses from bedroom-writing to stage-ready presence.

  • Album: The Only Place
  • Artist: Best Coast
  • Label: Mexican Summer
  • Songs: (1) The Only Place (2) Why I Cry (3) Last Year (4) My Life (5) No One Like You (6) How They Want Me to Be (7) Better Girl (8) Do You Love Me Like You Used To (9) Dreaming My Life Away (10) Let's Go Home (11) Up All Night
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Comments

Alan Segal Dec. 11, 2012 @ 5:13 p.m.

this is a terrific CD and the opening song, "The Only Place" is worth the price of admission. I'm glad somebody reviewed it. they need more exposure.

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