My 50 Favorite Albums of 2008: #29

Number 29

Given the extremely lo-fi sound of Beach House’s splendid self-titled debut from 2006, just about anything they released next would seem like a pristine recording in comparison. Surely enough, it is evident right from the opening moments of “Wedding Bell” that the Baltimore duo have opted for a much clearer sound, yet still remaining true to the raw aspects that make their music so haunting, beautiful, and powerful. Victoria Legrand has simply one of the most underrated, captivating voices in all of music today, and when combined with the subtle guitar work of Alex Scally, we are given the pure bliss that is Beach House. This sophomore record, titled Devotion, really begins to hit its stride when “Gila” is unleashed. The duo have never sounded more meshed than they do on the standout track of the album, with Legrand beautifully moaning amidst the best melodies Scally has to offer on the record; which is saying a lot, considering this group has plenty to offer everywhere you look. Though I was never quite as awestruck by this album as I was their self-titled debut when listening to it, Devotion still manages to be a invigorating push forward, with more keyboard and drum involvement than before (“Turtle Island” provides a slightly new glimpse of the band). They also take a walk on the cover side, putting their own stamp on the Daniel Johnston and Jad Fair song, “Some Things Last A Long Time”, and the gamble pays off remarkably. It’s one of the very best covers I’ve heard in a long time, and needless to say, one of the best songs on the record. I had the pleasure of seeing them play a free show in Bloomington earlier this year, which only deepened my obsession for their sound. I will anxiously await whatever they bring to us next. You have my full Devotion, Beach House.

1.Wedding Bell
2.You Came To Me
3.Gila
4.Turtle Island
5.Holy Dances
6.All The Years
7.Heart Chambers
8.Some Things Last A Long Time
9.Astronaut
10.D.A.R.L.I.N.G.
11.Home Again

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