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Album Review – Beach House: Depression Cherry

The album cover for Depression Cherry by Beach House

Art is not there to simply look or sound good. Art is not there for admiration of surface matter. It is there to express and evoke emotion- to push creativity into the world. It comes in many forms from dance, to painting, to photography, and perhaps the most universal- music. Everyone enjoys a different cup of tea especially in music and it is important to remember this when one tries to absorb the music heard. All music is loved and hated by someone. The key to all this consumption of art is the artistry. The artist must be sincere in their music. The rest is history.

First impressions tell me that Beach House makes music that could easily stand as a coffee house jam. “Levitation” hints at a light and airy pallet that seems to paint the tone for the whole album and although listening to this album made me somewhat sleepy, it’s crucial to point out that what is sleepy to me could also be defined as cosmic and meditational to another listener; the overall sound of the album conjures feelings of peace and relaxation. What’s more is fans of Beach House seem to like it that way. They enjoy the interpretive-dance sort of style of beats and swirling soft vocals that come from sweet feminine lips.

“Sparks” follows and is something that sounds like the beginning of trip. Heavier than the last composition but still soft enough to not be considered obnoxious. It is exactly at this point that I am hoping for a pick me up. I am a firm believer in having a well-rounded album and while setting the tone is important,  it’s equally as important to not be monotone, a distinction that seems to escape Depression Cherry as a whole. Beach House’s sound is simplistic, with soft, mellow waves and gentle motions of drum beats and crystalline guitar strums, but the storm never truly builds.

Long story short, those looking for something more upbeat should turn away from Depression Cherry – it is almost too mellow for its own good. The album drags- not much but enough to be noticeable. As a devoted music junkie, I was looking for a little more heat, excitement, anger, passion, something that speaks directly instead of in constant whispers. After “10:37” I felt rather bored and this is after a few times of hearing this album and every time I felt tired and let down. In a way, Depression Cherry is the perfect antidote to the everyday electronic screeches and screams that come with most mainstream music. Beach House’s sound is certainly something more calming but as I said before too sleepy, dreamy even.

In the end, no matter how much I would have loved to given the album a shot of adrenaline, I came to the conclusion that the overwhelmingly quiet music of Beach House is warm and inviting, peaceful and very rhythmic. It is like Depression Cherry was made to be heard in a coffee shop. Prancing and chanting its way through tired ears and weary smiles. In truth, there is no good or bad, right, or wrong. I cannot criticize Beach House and Depression Cherry completely positively or negatively because it is someone’s cup of tea. Someone’s flavor of choice. Beach House offers charismatic, emotional music, some of it borderline spiritual and calmingly colorful- the album is emotional like good art should be. Depression Cherry will not withstand the chaos of an FM dial or today’s pop-filled culture but it does withstand time and it is creatively sincere. The rest, well, that’s history.

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  1. Lisa Sierra

    Each review gets better.

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