eMusic Review 0
They can’t all be California Gurls, but Bethany Cosentino has embodied the role as proudly as anyone this side of Katy Perry. Following a stint in New York, the Los Angeles native’s debut album with multi-instrumentalist Bobb Bruno as Best Coast, 2010′s Crazy for You, poured reverb on the Byrds’ guitar jangle, the early Beach Boys’ lovesickness, and ’90s-indie-rock’s frankness, resulting in dispensary-grade West Coast pop. The duo’s equally brilliant follow-up, The Only Place, lies back on the same beach blanket, but moves to vastly more inclusive shores.
Quintessential L.A. musician-about-town Jon Brion imbues Best Coast’s former fuzz with Fleetwood Mac’s crystalline sheen, though the celebrated film composer’s touch is lighter here than on his productions for Fiona Apple and Kanye West. The album is very nearly bookended by Southern California odes, from the boppy, babes/waves title track, which convincingly buys its own La La Land postcard, to penultimate charmer “Let’s Go Home,” which alludes to not one but two Beach Boys oldies. Even a seeming outlier like crunching waltz-time working-musician lament “Last Year,” with its barroom la-de-da outro, makes sense when you remember Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” was an L.A. song, too.
Brion’s clean production allows Cosentino’s blunt, forceful voice to… read more »