Teen Dream is both the most diverse and most listenable of the Baltimore band's three full-lengths, and yet it never seems like a compromise. Beach House's sound was fully formed at the time of their debut. They had slow, shadowy dream-pop down; at times they recalled Mazzy Star or Galaxie , but songs like "Apple Orchard" and "Master of None" had a dark and blurry resonance all their own. Artists that start out so assured and distinctive can run into trouble on second, third, and fourth records. Hardcore fans are there no matter what, but others may wonder: Do I need another album from this band? When I'm in the mood for what they bring, can't I just put on what I already have?
Beach House - Teen Dream | Album Reviews | Consequence of Sound
The writer Sasha Frere Jones recently mused about the difficulties of musical criticism: "Is the music still confounding our expectations and startling us, or is it simply carrying on and punching the clock? Is punching the clock possibly enough for now? Beach House's third album, Teen Dream , is not, in that sense, punching the clock. Compared to their first two uniformly gorgeous, hypnotic albums, which saw vocalist Victoria Legrand compared to Nico and Hope Sandoval, it is sped up and spread out, for a wider, bigger sound than ever before. Still, in the last 12 months, everyone has done Talk Talk and the Mac, from Bon Iver to Vampire Weekend - a fine timepiece, honourably punched.
Beach House has always seemed like a band best suited for the background. The band has seemed most comfortable out of the spotlight, usually providing support as they did for The Walkmen and Grizzly Bear rather than headlining their own tour and lead singer Victoria Legrand may be more well-known to some for her background harmonizing with Grizzly Bear than for her own band. All this being said, Beach House improved from their first album to their second and a continued progression seemed logical.