eMusic Review 0
Grizzly Bear's second album Yellow House made big waves when it was released in 2006 but, curiously, nothing about it rates as immediately striking. The songs are long and laconic, slow and dirge-like, laced with the kinds of identifying marks that seem to privilege a sense of mystery over mission or melody.
All of that, however, is precisely what gives Yellow House its impressive staying power. "Easier" starts the album off with a brief snatch of flutes and horns, which herald the entry of gently rolling parlor piano and some studiously picked acoustic guitar — all the makings of a decorous folk sound that scans as too meticulous to class exactly as "freak folk." Don't be fooled, though: Grizzly Bear is plenty strange. The smeary harmonies draped over "Lullabye" and the ghostly reverb of "Knife" suggest the kind of songs barely remembered from dreams (or, in the case of the latter, movies by David Lynch). And all the peculiar excesses of Grizzly Bear's ornate sense of craft evoke the totally strange Van Dyke Parks, whose work on the Beach Boys 'Smile and his own albums like Song Cycle always seems close at hand. It's the kind of music that you might… read more »