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4.3 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews

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Vinyl, September 18, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

Shields, the fourth and most fluid album by Grizzly Bear to date, will be released on Sept. 18, 2012. The quartet of Chris Bear, Ed Droste, Daniel Rossen and Chris Taylor have never made a quick follow-up; it took them three years to get from Horn of Plenty to Yellow House, three more to get from Yellow House to Veckatimest. Between those records, though, they'd not only toured (headlining as well as with the likes of Radiohead, Feist, Wilco, TV on the Radio and more), but issued singles and splits, EPs, remixes and solo projects. The potential energy gathered in tour vans and busses, in studios and on stages for years was finally released, giving the individual band's pieces the chance to recover and, after a year, return to being Grizzly Bear, and delivering their best album yet. ''This has a different energy behind it,'' concludes Ed Droste. ''Veckatimest was a little more of a polite album; the desire to keep the vocals smooth might have kept a little distance between us and the audience. This one feels a bit more rough and exposed, so that on Shields, everything speaks for itself.''
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Product Details

  • Vinyl (September 18, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Warp Records
  • ASIN: B008966SI0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,907 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
2009's VECKATIMEST is a fantastic album, and it ranks among one of the best albums recorded in the past ten years. Grizzly Bear's second studio album is as finely crafted and poured over as anything available on the indie-rock market. Maybe it's the album's attention to detail; maybe it's the sincerity the band expressed through the lyrics; maybe it's the melodies and soaring harmonies; whatever it is, VECKATIMEST is undoubtedly a hard album to follow up. If you haven't heard the album yet, you really owe it to yourself to stop reading now and check out this previous album. Aside from it being a completely refreshing listen, this album will inform much of the band's fourth full-length album SHIELDS.

After touring for VECKATIMEST, Grizzly Bear took a 3-year hiatus from making music together to explore their own divergent musical tastes. While SHIELDS is definitely a Grizzly Bear record, it uses a much more varied and scattered approach than the intricate VECKATIMEST. There are moments on SHIELDS that reach out into unexplored territory for the band: psychedelic rock, atmospheric minimalism, and synthesizers. If their previous album was a meticulous exercise in tightly-wound control, this album is a more instinctual and gritty affair.

The opening track, "Sleeping Ute," makes no attempt to hide the band's less-polished features. The guitar riff that carries the song is a bit jarring: using a non-standard time signature, it sounds good but feels disorienting. The same frenetic acoustics of "Southern Point" appear on SHIELDS' second track, "Speaking in Rounds.
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Format: Audio CD
This newest entry is a definite jem in the The grizzly bear Catalog. Listening to it one gets that real sense of emotional adventure and longing that we have all come to know and love in Grizzly Bears music. From start to finish this Piece of art keeps the listener fully entertained. The Variety of sounds and textures weave in and out throughout the album, bouncing back and forth between loud cacophonous jams and minimalist breakdowns. Everything on Shields seems very formulaic and structured and this really helps the album. Many people are saying this album is the best of both worlds from their past two albums: "Yellow house" and "Veckatimest". This to a certain degree is correct however I think that Shields spends more time breaking new ground then just reproducing the past. In Many ways this is this may be the best album to come out this year and I look forward to continued listenings.

It's worth noting that with any great piece of art it takes multiple viewings to fully understand all the complexities in this album.
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Format: Audio CD
Four albums into their career, Grizzly Bear are no longer developing into one of the best bands of our generation. They've already arrived. The Brooklyn indie folk rockers utilized eclectic instrumentation and heart touching harmonies to set forth a body of work that became the envy of many bands. But they apparently aren't content, as Shields focuses on pushing their boundaries still further.

Their sophomore release Yellow House established the band's core sound; this is where they became known for their dreamy, pastoral chamber pop. However, it was their third album, Veckatimest, that would serve as a key turning point for the band. It took their pre-existing ideas and harnessed them into a set of 12 concise and cohesive songs.

It was the type of album that allowed its songs to simmer and rise, slowly going through several progressions until it reached an apex. Once those songs reached their sweet spot they lingered there, allowing you to drink in the full splendor and majesty of their most creative moments. Veckatimest was by no means a restrained album, but if there was one weakness it was perhaps that they tended to rely on that formula a little much. Shields is even more adventurous than its predecessor by not only varying their formula, but by also pushing their songwriting and musicianship to yet another level.

The first four tracks offer about as good of an opening salvo as you're ever like to hope for. Lead single "Sleeping Ute" tries to do what "Southern Point" did on Veckatimest -- quickly blow you away with Daniel Rossen's dizzying instrumentation and mellow croon. And again they succeed without a shadow of a doubt. Rossen's lead guitar is heavily nuanced and stylized, even dipping into a little bit of heavy rock.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
They say that honesty is the best policy. As someone who *loved* 2009's Veckatimest and *loved* the two pre-release singles off this album, admitting that I don't love this record as much as I thought (hoped) I would is a tough pill to swallow. I've listened to this album a lot since it's leak. On the surface, there is absolutely no reason why I shouldn't absolutely love it. Sonically this is a fantastic record, flawless even. But while Veckatimest was similarly meticulously crafted, it had soul. It was an emmotional experience, one I could connect with. I'm sure a lot of listeners will feel the opposite. Maybe it's just me. Every indie fan knows those old timey Radiohead fans who insist The Bends and Ok Computer are still their best records. (they've since been topped by Kid A and In Rainbows, fyi) Maybe that's who I am in the Grizzly Bear universe, that old fan who can't let go of the old records. But what can I say; those older albums connect with me, and this new one doesn't. If you're enjoying the album, keep enjoying it; don't let other people's opinions cloud your own. This is just one opinion, from one fan to another.

Key tracks: Sleeping Ute (one of the best openers I've ever heard, in fact), Yet Again, The Hunt
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Download code says there's does. but I dont know if that means they all would have it
Sep 12, 2012 by Benjamin S. Sromalski |  See all 3 posts
Two LP's?
Every vinyl version comes with two. Grizzly Bear posted a picture on their Twitter.
Sep 11, 2012 by thisistheend11 |  See all 2 posts
Color Vinyl?
No. Insound is the exclusive retailer for the gold vinyl. All other versions are black.
Aug 15, 2012 by thisistheend11 |  See all 2 posts
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