Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  And It Don't Stop
  Book Reports
  Is It Still Good to Ya?
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Xgau Sez
  And It Don't Stop
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Rolling Stone
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
Web Site:
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
CG Search:
Google Search:

Best Coast

  • Crazy for You [Mexican Summer, 2010] A-
  • The Only Place [Mexican Summer, 2012] B+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Crazy for You [Mexican Summer, 2010]
Bethany Cosentino believes romance is a myth--not a lie, a myth, like Sisyphus. That's why she decks her deliberately simple tunes in echo effects that also obscure the specificity of her already multi-tracked singing voice, why "weed" is damn near the only concrete noun on the entire record unless that burning ball of gas in the sky counts. Musically, the idea is to recreate the Beach Boys' aura 50 years later. Thematically, it's to prove that she's a postmodern girl who knows better. The catch is that through all her generalizations it soon becomes clear that she needs that guy much more than a postmodern girl is supposed to. Too bad she can't pin it down and also can't pin him down. I blame the weed. A-

The Only Place [Mexican Summer, 2012]
The chirpy opener about fun in the sun is a feint--the lyrics that follow are so depressive that the consistent cheer and conservatism of the tunes is like some perverse minimalist art move. Problem is, nothing in Beth Cosentino's self-inflicted boy problems and palpable longing for a childhood when she didn't have to deal with them suggests that she's got the guts for such a concept. Melodically and verbally, her clarity is a gift. But until she bucks up and tells that jerk to take a hike, it's not going to do her much good. Nobody loves a doormat. B+