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Devotion was my favourite album of 2008. It improved upon it’s predecessor and packed sound of many a variety. I was certain this was one of the definitive albums of my entire life and therefore wouldn’t be beaten by even it’s glorious makers. That was two years ago, before they were appearing on television and way before they rekindled my love for them.
I had a mental block in my mind which wouldn’t allow Teen Dream to pass. I wanted to love it but subconsciously I couldn’t get into it because I refused to think that it would better Devotion. It’s like when you know what was once your favourite album isn’t anymore but you just don’t want to admit it because of the link only you share with that album - I didn’t want to be unfaithful. I listened to Teen Dream several times before I even considered to take it seriously. At first I felt that TD never really got on it’s feet. I wasn’t disappointed, just not ready to make the transition.
But finally, after the sixth or seventh listen it hit me, like a message from god, or something. For me, it’s not as instantly accessible as Devotion, but it’s the subtle mid-song climaxes that make listeners go deep into concentration, trying to listen out for these dance inducing brain melters. Better Times is a great example of this but I’m not being ambitious when I say all of the tracks have this and are all potential singles.
Used To Be was the first single off TD, which came out back in October, 2008 through their old label, Carpark. This clearly shows the brilliance of their new label (Sub Pop)’s production. The old version was a little slower, a bit more dark than the album version. Used To Be is the most upbeat track on TD, and probably the most upbeat track Beach House have done in their lifetime, despite the contrast to the song meaning, about a couple once in a beautiful relationship together but now cocooned in the infested, loveless mess and just going through the motions. but the rest of the album’s sound does portray this sinister feeling well. This is one of the most unique sounds I’ve heard in recent years.
But like any BH song, the ones one Teen Dream aren’t made to infuriate, nor are they made to trigger any emotion that isn’t a positive one. They’re so relaxing you just need to put the album on repeat over and over again when your laying in bed thinking about your partner or on the bus needing to clear your mind after a hard-ass day at college. But what it all comes down to is listening to it on your own. This isn’t something to listen to in groups or even just the two of you - it’s almost self-indulgent listening to Teen Dream, almost self centred - but nobody hates you for it.
The album’s aesthetics are in tradition with Beach House’s back catalogue. Compared to Devotion, it has a more monotone physique, albeit a grand one. But although being extremely similar to Devotion, it feels like a rebirth for the band. I’m forced to look at this album on a much more mature scale to Devotion. Is it better than Devotion? No. But it’s pretty damn close. It’s great that there are still people making records like this and that there are even many people listening to it. I’m proud to say that this was the first LP I ever bought.