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Beach House: Teen Dream 

Sub Pop

Teen Dream, the second full-length from Baltimorean indie darlings Beach House, starts out promisingly enough. The first track, "Zebra," is a luxuriant, mid-paced vocal anthem as good as anything the group's ever done. Likewise, "Silver Soul" is a psych-tinged Pet Sounds dirge. Unfortunately, there's not much else of substance here. The production on Teen Dream is expansive and elegant, but deliberately and listlessly so, and its forced hugeness tends to overwhelm the record's actual songs. When a band overextends itself like this, it's reasonable to expect some interesting side effects. But Beach House plays it too damn safe with its songwriting for that to occur. The band rarely ventures outside its comfort zone on Teen Dream, causing the record to suffer from a sort of monotonous sickness. By the end of the album, it's tough to shake the feeling that the thing has lasted a couple hours longer than it actually has. 2 out of 5 stars

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