Monday, August 24, 2009

Grizzly Bear: Veckatimest Album Review

By now everyone has heard Veckatimest and has already made up their mind on it, nevertheless I thought it would be wrong not to write a review on the album that critics are saying is the only album this year to rival Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post-Pavillion. True Veckatimest is a great album, and true it has proven that Grizzly Bear is no one-trick pony, and that they can improve upon their debut Yellow House. That having been said I do not believe that this is the best or even second best album of the year.

Being a huge fan of Department of Eagles, I was excited to listen to Veckatimest, however the album as a whole did not initially grab me. “Southern Point” was the one song I felt I could really sink my teeth into, with it’s up beat tempo and exploding drums. It’s quite possibly one of my favorite songs this year and exactly the kind of song I hope to hear from Grizzly Bear. The rest of the album seems to be hit or miss for me. Despite the fact that “Two Weeks” is one of their more popular songs, Ed Droste’s wallowing glee club vocals bores me and the instrumentation itself doesn’t seem to be anything to get excited over. Other songs like “Cheerleader” seem to hit the same note for me.

I’ve begun to realize that my main problem with Grizzly Bear is in fact Ed Droste’s voice. I think combined with Daniel Rossen’s voice he works well, but as a lead singer Ed Droste cannot keep my attention. Daniel Rossen is what saves this album for me. Even songs that begin with Ed Droste can become magnificent when concluded with the voice and musical intensity that is Daniel Rossen. “All We Ask”, “Fine for Now”, “While You Wait for the Others” and “I Live With You”, are therefore all great tracks. But there is more to Grizzly Bear than just lush vocals.

Similar to Department of Eagles, Grizzly Bear’s fulcrum is the magical environment created within their songs. The album is subtle, but when given the proper attention Grizzly Bear’s musicianship and Chris Taylor’s skill as a producer grab you. How they are able to so quickly take us into their world and keep us there for a solid 50 minutes blows me. Yet in the end when the album comes to a close, I am left wanting more. Maybe that’s a good thing or maybe that’s a bad thing. But I can’t help be feel like there is still something missing from Veckatimest.

I give Veckatimest 7.5/10 Bleeding Heads

Check it Out: Grizzly Bear- Southern Point

Get Veckatimest from

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