Veckatimest by Grizzly Bear

Listening to Grizzly Bear’s Veckatimest. Thoughts.

This is a pop album…“classic pop”…so in other words, the Ancestry DNA results would turn up a high percentage of Lennon-McCartney…mix in some prog sensibilities, a dose of whatever Williamsburg gave us last decade and some lyrics that suggest great emotion without ever spelling it out. So many other fine points – a fuzz bass here, a jerky beat there, chopsticks piano there, a quiet acoustic guitar interlude there, a sick mellotron here.

Overall, and for the more then casual listener…what makes a good album are a few things –
a) loose unity
b) economy
c) moments, many of them
d) mystery, to keep you coming back
e) interesting textures, drum sound probably most importantly

We hit all the marks here.

I can say that I did not favor their next album, mainly because there were much less beautiful vocal harmonies there. I may need to return to that and I have their newest queued up on my phone, so I reserve the right to change my mind at any time.

For example, here’e the first song…

“Southern Point” – starts off with a great lost Doors groove.  Pleasant enough.  1 minute and ten seconds in we are a treated to glorious fuzz bass.   You start thinking what would have happened if the Moodys met Phil Spector…We get a nice suspended Byrds-ish interlude that we hear often enough, but much more carefully done – like Jimmy Page in 1973.  “In the air.  You’ll never find me now.”  Tremelo guitars slip in some gentle Link Wray into the opening groove…extending into some tapdancing harpsichord and orchestral coloration.  NICE BRIDGE…

We are then allowed to breathe for a millisecond until we get a phased out hammer on simple solo – another go around “Never say it’s the last one / It’s not the last one / I’d never find any other.”

That gentle interlude I mentioned earlier?  Solo acoustic?  It comes back, extends into other areas briefly and resolves the tune at 5 min.  Good 5 minutes spent.

Search around for their music.  Make up your own mind.  Released May 2009.


By Jimmy Lem

Things in my head that make it to my fingers.

For more Jimmy Lem -

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