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La Costa Perdida

4.6 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 22, 2013
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Alternative rock pioneers Camper Van Beethoven have returned with a new album, LA COSTA PERDIDA their 429 Records debut. The lineup, featuring Victor Krummenacher (bass, baritone guitar), Greg Lisher (guitars), David Lowery (guitars and vocals), Chris Pedersen (drums), Jonathan Segel (violin , guitar , mandolin, organ , backing vocals) and Michael Urbano (drums and percussion), have reunited and created their most cohesive album yet. Produced by the band, this album, their eighth studio album and first since 2004, is steeped in their connection to Northern California, specifically the areas where the band members first nurtured their musical talents Redlands, Santa Cruz and San Francisco. With a geographical jumping off point, the band fills in the dramatic, joyous, interpersonal and psychological aspects of the locales as only CVB can. The ten tracks on LA COSTA PERDIDA were recorded in the Oakland home studio of Jonathan Segel.


Says Victor Krummenacher: The coolest part was that everything flowed from the fact that these distinctive musicians and personalities sat in the living room. Our music now sounds like four people are writing it. The songs have great energy, but we re more relaxed and stately and a lot more confident. The songwriting here has elements of vintage Camper along with grown-up Camper.

Review

I like what I hear here.. --Rolling Stone

Delightful… It does illustrate how unique this band still is, 30 years after it formed. And it truly is a kick to hear CVB ply its craft with road-tested assurance and subtly virtuosic musicianship. --Pitchfork

For 30 years and counting, Camper Van Beethoven have existed in a parallel-universe borderland, coming across like a punk band perpetually on a Balkan bluegrass bender. But they finally bring it all back home to their native California on 10th album, La Costa Perdida, recalling '60s-vintage West Coast pop filtered through their timeless, idiosyncratic prism. --Spin

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Come Down The Coast
  2. Too High For The Love-in
  3. You Got To Roll
  4. Someday Our Love Will Sell Us Out
  5. Peaches In The Summertime
  6. Northern California Girls
  7. Summer Days
  8. La Costa Perdida
  9. Aged In Wood
  10. A Love For All Time


Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 22, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Savoy
  • ASIN: B009O07NSE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,441 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a lovely, eclectic, funny, dark, strange and joyous little album. Only 10 songs this time, one of them a brief instrumental interlude, but the songs are all so vibrant, well-written and well-played that it sounds like a greatest-hits album by a lesser artist. There are plenty of moments that remind me of past Camper albums, as well as some new touches (like the Beach Boysish backing vox on "Northern California Girls" or the Captain-Beefheart style guitar duels on "You've Got to Roll.") It mostly reminds me of a quieter, more grown-up version of "Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart," in that every song is a little gem that fits into the wider album perfectly. If you've ever loved this band, do not miss this album.
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Not many bands that have been around for 30 years to begin with, let alone to put out a CD that is so relevant and yet sticks to their roots. La Costa Perdida is just that recording. First, the musicianship is second to none. The guitars intertwining with violin throughout the recording playing off each other with sublime melodies. The rhythm section keeps it all together. Every play of the CD gets you more hooked than the time before. Secondly, the lyrics are smart, funny and take you on a descriptive journey in each song. Personal favorites: A Love For All Time (musically a must listen on headphones) Northern California Girls (the "crunchy" guitar at the end brings you to feel the yearning of the songs protagonist) Too High For The Love-in (tells an unfortunate story with just the right amount of humor) Definitely worth the wait!
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OK, I must clear this up right now. I consider some of the folks in this band to be friends. But I also have to say that Camper van Beethoven was an acquired taste for me. I first became a fan of David Lowery's successor band, "Cracker", through my friendship with Johnny Hickman, who co-founded "Cracker" with Lowery in 1991. Johnny suggested that I listen to CVB's CDs. I liked a few of the songs, but wasn't wildly enthusiastic. Then I listened to them again. The songs grew on me, as did the mixture of so many kinds of popular music. Then I started listening to David Lowery's lyrics. They made me think, maybe more than I wanted to, but make me think they did.

I was hooked. This is world-class music played by an incredibly-versatile group of musicians.

The first time through the CD, I reminded myself of my previous experiences listening to their stuff. The second time through, I began getting into it. Third time through, hooked again. So, upon hearing this CD for the first time, you might shrug your shoulders and say, "Huh?", but give it time. You'll come around.

But first, you gotta buy the CD. I did, and even got a refund of $2.83 from my original pre-order price! Nice!

Now, if I could just get someone to make me a sandwich!
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This is my new favorite album from Camper Van Beethoven and it is strong from start to finish. My favorite song is "Too High for the Love In" due to the interplay of the guitar and backing vocal parts which evoke a cool mid-1960's feel for me. In general the music is interesting. As usual in Camper Van Beethoven varying non standard scales and modes are used in the various instrumental parts. On this album though I felt like there was an even better synergy between the guitar and violin parts than before. David Lowrey's lyrics will probably always contain some element of snark, but I feel both the lyrics and music convey a true affection for the section of the California coast where the band came together.
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I've been a fan of CVB for 20 years now, going back to being 13 years old. I got into the band after their initial dissolution, but fell in love with the sounds they made, the mystique they cultivated, the worldviews conveyed in their music and their unique way of filtering classic rock and other influences. I would follow Cracker and the projects that the rest of the ex-CVB members pursued. I was thrilled when CVB started playing some shows with Cracker and then reunited for their own tours and new projects. However, until now, there had not been a new CVB record in over 8 years. So, I've been highly anticipating this record!
Hearing the advance release of "Northern California Girls," however, dampened my spirits. That song is over 7 minutes long here and it immediately strikes me as the worst thing I've heard from CVB. But, my fears were overcome upon playing the album (alas!).
The album starts with the mellow "Come Down the Coast," which is a really nice track, though perhaps seems out of place as an album opener for CVB. I think it's a really great David Lowery song, though.

The two high points on this album are "Someday Our Love Will Sell Us Out" and "Summer Days." "Someday..." seems to bear a strong imprint, musically, from Jonathan Segel. His violin is lovely here, and I wouldn't be surprised if he was also playing the guitar here. David's vocal fits well with the track and the song has a sort of ominous tone. It's an immediate classic, for me.
Even better is "Summer Days," which musically sounds more like Greg Lisher and Victor Krummenacher are incorporating their Monks of Doom style playing, with Jonathan Segel making another fine entry on violin. This song really rocks.

Some other comments: "Too High For the Love In" is fun.
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