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Devotion

26 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 26, 2008
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$16.46
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Devotion + Teen Dream [LP + DVD] [Vinyl] + Beach House
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Feeling lonely tonight? Turn off the TV and lower the lights. Baltimore duo Beach House have returned with their sophomore full length entitled Devotion. Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand have written eleven delicate pop tunes about love, feeling, and, of course, devotion. Their new album is a surefire antidote to the winter blues.

Beach House have developed their craft exponentially since their 2006 self-titled debut. The recording is crisper; the songs are fuller. This is a band that is taking the pop duo format to the limit.

The organs, slide guitars and reverb are still there, but Beach House lay out some new sounds for their newest offering. While on their debut critics made comparisons to early 90s dream popsters like Mazzy Star, Galaxie 500 and Slowdive, on Devotion listeners will also hear the band's longtime admiration for 60s Motown and country folk.

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Nothing much happens on the second album from this Baltimore, Maryland duo, but it all unfolds so beautifully you would be hard-pressed to complain. Using slow-motion rhythms, ghostly vocals and dreamy carnival organs in its attempt to pull together a set of vaporous melodies, the band comes up with a spellbinding collection of songs that in its best moments recalls the hazy wonder of dream-pop predecessors the Velvet Underground and Mazzy Star. Singer Victoria Legrand is the niece of famed soundtrack composer Michel, which could explain why so many of the songs--especially standouts like "D.A.R.L.I.N.G." and "Heart of Chambers"--have such a convincingly cinematic feel. Hopefully, the producers at HBO are listening. --Aidin Vaziri

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
  1. Wedding Bell 3:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. You Came To Me 4:05$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Gila 4:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Turtle Island 3:59$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Holy Dances 4:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. All The Years 3:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Heart Of Chambers 4:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. Some Things Last a Long Time 2:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. Astronaut 5:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. D.A.R.L.I.N.G. 3:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
11. Home Again 4:08$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 26, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Carpark Records
  • ASIN: B00126WY00
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,236 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Mike Newmark on February 26, 2008
Format: Audio CD
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it," as the old saying goes, and it continues to apply to so many bands who trip over though themselves in an attempt to improve the quality of their music. Thank heaven, , for the ones who don't pay attention to the cliché and surface with something greater than anyone could have expected. Last year, Burial dropped my jaw to the floor when he released Untrue--a record that was a thousand times better than his rock-solid eponymous debut. Burial picked up on a unique sound and saw it to its logical endpoint, but Untrue had the power to move you to awe and great swells of emotion, and you could live in it. And now, Beach House is finding itself in a similar scenario, in which the limitations of their seemingly faultless first record only become apparent after the quietly stunning Devotion eclipses it in nearly every way.

When the band's debut, Beach House, dropped in October 2006, it heightened our awareness of the current fall season. With only the sparest of parts--a guitar, a keyboard, a voice and a drum machine, recorded onto a four-track--the duo of Victoria Legrand ('01) and Alex Scally squeezed out fuzzy, creaky love songs that felt like being draped in a timeworn blanket or an elegant coat from long ago. It wasn't autumn as experienced outdoors, but autumn as viewed from the window of a living room covered in deep browns and faded yellows. On their second record, Beach House have opened up their sound, for lack of a better term, and given it room to breathe. The melodies are sweeter, the songs more compositionally complex, the sound--my goodness, that sound! No longer tied to a four-track, Beach House trades fuzz for a gossamer echo that's guaranteed to put a lump in your throat, and these uniformly wonderful songs resonate as clear as a bell.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 23, 2008
Format: Audio CD
The name of Beach House might imply a certain kind of pop -- sunny, frothy, sort of a Beach Boys vibe.

If so, that name is very deceptive, because their music is none of the above. Hailing from Baltimore, Beach House's second album "Devotion" is more like sleeping in a haunted, jewelled music box -- all ghostly singing, lushly sparkling pop instrumentation and sensually dreamy melodies.

"Wedding Bell" spins itself a stately, rippling organ'n'grimy riffs framework, with Victoria Legrand's pretty, eerie voice singing distantly, "You're ringing the only wedding bell/and we're swimming the seas we know so well... I tried to stay in line in our bed/in our heads/Oh, but your wish is my command..." It's very catchy in a neo-Victorian shoegazer way, although much catchier than anything that follows.

But things get far eerier in "You Came to Me," a shimmering ghostly pop ballad punctuated by sweeps of satiny keyboard and timpani. That style carries over into the lilting, swirling sound of "Gila," ruled by a truly exquisite organ melody. And not many singers could sing the name of a lizard and actually sound serious.

And those songs set the tone for much of the album -- ethereal organ laments, shimmering little pop tunes strung with tambourine and swirling guitar, sparkling melodies with spacey carnival synth, tinkly soaring ballads, and so forth. But it ends as catchily -- if more alluringly -- as it started, with the warm, wobbling "Home Again." It sounds exactly as the title would imply.

If I had to describe the particular sound of Beach House, I'd have to say it sounds like an American Nico... fronting the musical lovechild of Mazzy Star and Goldfrapp's latest.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Paul Allaer TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 16, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Beach House is a duo hailing from Baltimore, consisting of singer-songwriter Victoria Legrand and multi-instrumentalist Alex Scally. In 2006 they released their self-titled sebut album, and now comes the eagerly awaited follow-up.

On "Devotion" (11 tracks, 44 min.) the band continues the dreamy sound they brought on the debut album, and ever so slightly are a bit more open and optimistic in their songs. Opener "Wedding Bell" sets the stage for the album, with a fuller sound than ever before. "Gila" and "Turtle Island" even have some gentle melodies to them, which is more than you can say for any tracks on the debut album. Other highlights on the album for me include "Heart of Chambers", a pensive ballad, Beach House-style; "Some Things Last (A Long Time)", and the closer "Home Again", which ends the album on a hopeful and optimistic note.

In the end, "Devotion" is, like the debut album, a mood piece, pure and simple. This is not for anyone in a hurry, but if you give yourself (and the band) the chance, you'll be surprised how hypnotizing it all sounds. "Devotion" is warmly recommended!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Demetrius A. Armstrong on March 1, 2008
Format: Audio CD
A whole shade better than their 2006 album, Beach House continues to make easy to love electronic pop songs. Their formula remains in place albeit with more inflection in the melodies and lyrics and it makes for a deeper more generous listen, one that captures the nostalgic longing they wish to conjure up. They can be reminding of The Clientele at times or a softer electronic version of Yo La Tengo. Beach House continues to realize the potential hinted on their 2006 record and this will take up room on my IPod for quite some time.
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