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Yellow House

48 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 5, 2006
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$11.88 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 8 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Grizzly Bear has come a long way in the past 2 years. From its original incarnation as a one man band of acoustic guitar, field tapes and drum machine; to it's current state as a full band complete with drums, two guitars, bass, woodwinds, effects pedals, cradled by four part harmonies, Grizzly Bear's music has made the leap from charming lo-fi folk rock to breathtaking, experimental cinematic pop. The talent between the four members of Grizzly Bear is evident from their deft playing, which also makes for a brilliant and engrossing live act.

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It's a rare thing to find a band that counts the glockenspiel, autoharp, banjo, and flute as key instruments, especially when it's a rock band with just four members. Grizzly Bear use all the above instruments plus another dozen or so to make the 10 floating, gossamer, low-lit tunes that comprise Yellow House. They are rounded edges, off-kilter waltzes ("Lullabye," which teeters tipsily), laconic vignettes, and even a vintage 1930s waltz written by singer Edward Droste's great-aunt. The meshwork here is Grizzly Bear's smarts, a banjo lending fleeting rhythmic hints to a guitar-picked melody ("Reprise"), a haunted piano filling the sonic air with smoke. All four members sing duskily and softly, making a slow-going atmosphere that would delight the great composer Morton Feldman. The brilliance here is that every song mesmerizes, not with aural dominance but with an atmospheric magnetism. --Andrew Bartlett

1. Easier
2. Lullabye
3. Knife
4. Central And Remonte
5. Little Brother
6. Plans
7. Marla
8. On A Neck, On A Spit
9. Reprise
10. Colorado

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 5, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warp Records
  • ASIN: B000FS9LKW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,629 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Scot McGinn on February 26, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I normally don't do reviews on Amazon, in large part to the fact that most people reading them have already formed their opinion on the item in question. Grizzly Bear's Yellow House is a prime example of this unfortunate pattern. The chance of an "average" reader wandering into this area without some appreciation for the genre will be rare. However, I was such a reader, so I figured I would give it a shot.

In my opinion, I have not heard anything that comes as close to audio art as Yellow House. It is very clear that the band spent an enormous amount of time and effort polishing each indvidual song, which alone is impressive, but also blended the entire album catalog so the sounds were cohesive, flowing, almost like a long poem. They use a tremendous amount of instruments, fading and editing, and room space to create a haunting and magical atmosphere.

At first listen, what might be mistaken as mild chaos at times will later showcase a tremendous amount of control and management of sound. No doubt layering techniques are used on some tracks, but it's hard to tell what effects are natural (like playing an instrument far away from the sound stage) versus fabricated at a sound board. Plus, the band is able to reproduce a lot of their sound live; a must for any artist who wishes to be taken seriously.

All pretention aside, I am really glad I found Yellow House. I can enjoy it on so many levels, from playing it in the background of a party, or just mellowing out with the old lady and a good book. If you're considering buying it or on the fence in your decision, you won't regret your purchase. This one is going to last you a long time and has a timeless, breathtaking sound.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mark Eremite VINE VOICE on May 11, 2007
Format: Audio CD
The lo-fi neo-psychedelia freak-folk of "Yellow House" is not so easily described. Hence the rather amorphous appellates "lo-fi" and "neo-psychedelia" and "freak-folk." Listening to the album (over and over again), a lot of descriptions came to mind...

The Beach Boys, minus the beach ("Knife").

A moon-powered TV on the Radio ("On A Neck, On A Spit").

A tamed-n-trained Animal Collective ("Easier").

Hot Chip on ice ("Little Brother").

If none of that makes any sense to you (and who can blame you?), let it be enough to say that Grizzly Bear's sophomore LP is as warm and silky as sudsy bathwater. The quartet utilizes banjos, laptops, and flutes (among other, more traditional instruments) to create something so atmospheric, so emotional, so good that at times it's just plain heart-wrenching.

Named after one of the band members' mother's home, where the album was recorded, the album is just as inviting as a return to the loamy roots of nostalgia. The apogee of cool soul sonics, "Yellow House" is big enough to live in, but as cozy as a warm embrace.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jessica on October 1, 2006
Format: Audio CD
a song excerpt may help you get the genre, but to really get IT you should hear the whole album, go for the whole ride, and listen to how the delicately balanced songs progress with geometric precision, then are broken with magnificent grizzly guitar tantrums and textural spasms that manage to be both futuristic and timeless. dont write them off as a freakfolk experiment. grizzly bear is a really great band. you must see them live too.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By superinkygrrl on February 18, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Absolutely exquisite and haunting, I cannot stop listening to this album! There's really not much more I can add to all the glowing reviews except to say it's completely enchanted me and I want everyone to know that if you are in any way curious about this band, please take a chance and let Grizzly Bear draw you into their world. The comparisons to TVOTR are very accurate. I find their songs meander along in the most pleasant way, taking me to strangely sentimental places. The melodies are intricately layered and complex and the songs take unexpected twists and turns. "Knife", for me, is a gorgeous aching love song. I'm a huge fan of Akron Family, and I can hear many similarities, though Grizzly Bear feels, overall, denser and more thickly layered. A beautiful album that will stay in my car for many, many commutes. I second the motion to put this in your car for a long, gray, rainy drive. Enjoy.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sebastian Bosch on October 20, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I've been following Grizzly Bear for a year and a half. A friend introduced me to Horn of Plenty, their first album, when it first came out and when the band was still rather obscure and the sound sparse, a product of leadsinger Edward Droste's improvised bedroom set up -- a fact you'll be quick to learn in every other of the seemingly endless features on them right now. Horn of Plenty was a really beautiful, unexpected album but with Yellow House, Grizzly Bear has entered a different realm of finesse and theis record is undoubteldy one of the finest of the year. There are lush arrangements, intricate harmonies, and an incredible suite of songs that move in surprising directions. Yellow House may still take a few listens to fully grow on you (although the Knife is an instant classis), but listen to it twice on the way to work on a gray fall day and you'll never stop.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Preston Treichel on November 9, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Yellow House is a natural and healthy progression from their first album, Horn of Plenty. This majestic, captivating release showcases the band taking a step up in sophistication and complexity. The structure of the tracks are most often sprawling and have a tendency to change direction in mid-song. It is very folk-influenced, but definitely shows patches of pop psychedelia. This will probably hit home for fans of Animal Collective.
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