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Teen Dream, the third full-length from Baltimore-based, male-female duo Beach House, hits the nail pretty much on the head. It’s a pop album replete with sonic pleasures, like the dreamy, softly-spoken cousin of a Raveonettes record: songs made of simple melodies and words, warm bottom end and a golden layer of reverb over everything. It’s a formula that works well for these two, considering their pared-back set-up: guitars, keyboards, drum machines and shared vocal duties. Most of these songs are slow, and feel slow even when they aren’t (10 Mile Stereo or Used To Be, for instance). But they do have their dramatic moments, like on Norway, where the chorus gains a little emotional weight each time, building to an impassioned climax. Generically, it’s like a melange of 70s pop hooks, indie digressions, and the 50s ballad as re-imagined by David Lynch. Given that kind of range, perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised the album never repeats itself: it’s diverse, which is rare for a two-piece group of any calibre, and gives the album the depth to withstand repeat listening. Ultimately, it’s just a nice album, and not in the trite, condescending sense of the term: in the nice sense of the term. Worth a listen, and more.

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