Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest
At this point in the year, it seems pretty redundant to discuss this album, especially considering all the accolades it has received during the time in which the album leaked onto the Internet. But, be that as it may, one really has to take a look at this album; you would be doing yourself an injustice to ignore Grizzly Bear at this point, and your record collection would be worse off for not adding Veckatimest to your catalog.
Even on the first track, it is hard to find negative commentary on the album, no matter how you wish to label this band and their hype. “Southern Point” has various elements to the entirety of the song, be it ornate guitar picking or the back and forth piano work. You’ll come to find that the various layers that were present during Yellow House have now been polished, to the benefit of every minute of the album.
Then comes the first single, “Two Weeks.” You could count this song as one of the best songs of the year, based merely upon the multiple layer harmonies that go throughout, but that probably wouldn’t do the song any justice. Each layer of sound just seems to compile more melody as the song inches along like a caterpillar; the song builds with “ooh oooh oooh oohs” until the end, and when it’s complete, you feel a little bit worn out.
You find yourself two songs into the album, which most will prematurely title as best of the year. From this point on, you cannot go back into the past; you cannot look back into the music of this year, for nothing will seem as complete as this album. Songwriter Daniel Rossen, who also fronts Department of Eagles, definitely has left his mark on this album, or at least you can see his maturity throughout the evolution of this album. What once seemed like quiet bedroom songs now have blossomed into full compositions, each worthy of standing on their own.
“Dory” seems like a simplistic enough song, but the magic in the vocal harmonies carry it above your average tune, into a new level of greatness few bands have yet to achieve. “Ready, Able” has this brooding rhythm beneath the surface of the song, but with the intricate additions to the song, the tension is released, and the song courses on into one of the albums more beautiful moments. “About Face” is the perfect song, with subdued percussion backing the song; the band has paid attention to the most minute detail, which, of course, makes each song stronger than the one before it.
You can hide behind the hype, declaring that the band is just riding the waves of popularity by the Internet popularity they’ve garnered, but listening to Veckatimest, you will truly see that Grizzly Bear deserves every kind word that was written about them. Very few people will find that there is anything negative to say, and in that statement, you have the best album of the year.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/08-about-face.mp3]
Download: Grizzly Bear – About Face [MP3]