“Heavens above,” the masses cry, “not another cinnamon coated album about boys and stuff?”
Yet, that is exactly what Best Coast’s debut LP Crazy For You is. There are no attempts to hide it either. The album title, the opening song ‘Boyfriend’ and it’s “I wish he was my boyfriend,” hook. The ingredients are all there. So why should you listen to it? Well, it’s head and shoulders above the rest, is why.
For a start, lead singer Bethany Cosentino isn’t the atypical damsel with a crush. She shuns the idealised style of She & Him’s Zooey Deschanel, favouring instead monotone, almost drone like vocals.
It’s always easy to focus on the wistful female lead in bands like this, yet they wouldn’t have a pot to piss in were they not supported by tight production and acceptable musicianship. That’s where multi-instrumentalist Bobb Bruno and drummer Ali Koehler come in. The guitars on ‘I Want To’ are amped up and lethargic, giving the song a sound akin to Intepol. Straight after that is ‘When The Sun Don’t Shine’ which picks up the pace. “When the sun don’t shine/you aren’t mine” sings Consentino. Not exactly Chaucer, but it works.
Albums like this are very dangerous pitfalls. Without the right music to back up the overly analytical “why did he do this to me?” vocal content they can really grate. Thanks to Bruno’s production skills the resentment isn’t allowed to fester. Let’s give Consentino credit though. As I mentioned earlier, her lyrics aren’t dazzling and tattooists won’t suddenly be inundated with a rash of people wanting her words inked on their bodies as a life mantra. Ironically, Consentino knows this. She’s an honest girl simply explaining how she feels.
It would be easy to peg her as a girl who’s bitter and envious at the attention that other females receive. Then on ‘Boyfriend’ she exhibits the same kind of hang-ups and inadequacies that are experienced by lots of people, and in doing so, shows a nice turn of phrase. “The other girl is not me/She’s skinnier and prettier/She has a college degree/I dropped out when I was 17.”
That kind of everyman, or woman, trait runs throughout the album giving it a sense of realism. It sounds sugar coated and fake, but it isn’t. The LP is actually a very clever ruse, duping people into believing it’s very one dimensional. Yet with one listen, its honesty grabs you. So you go back for another listen, and another. You find yourself laughing at Consentino’s jibes at Katy Perry and True Blood, and before you know it you’re hooked on what is a tight, satirical take on relationships and love that has something for everyone.