[sic] Magazine

Best Coast – Crazy For You

Appearing hazily out of the lo-fi community, and now a long way from her Pocahaunted days, Bethany Cosentino has cleaned up her sound and track roster for her debut LP Crazy For You, and it opens an interesting discussion.

There’s no doubt she and Bobb Bruno are prolific – they have at least another album’s worth of material worth collating and (re)releasing formally and none of it appears on Crazy For You, except for the superlative “When I’m With You”, which appears as the bonus track in certain regions.

Other, fuzzier numbers have been omitted entirely. For example, the lingering previous single “Sun Was High (So Was I)” is nowhere to be found, and the likeable, lower-still-fi of “Up All Night” is also absent. And some of Cosentino’s cleaner edits have met with the cutting room floor too. There’s no room for the short energy blast of the entirely complimentary “Far Away”, nor the wholly loveable “Something In The Way”. All these snippets ought really to be taken in parallel with Crazy For You because they are part of its evolution, sometimes superior, and would perhaps have given it more backbone.

As justification, it’s likely that Cosentino feared these cuts have been subject to over-exposure, thanks to their extended popularity in the blogosphere, and Crazy For You has definitely ousted most traits of Best Coast ‘s lo-fi past, perhaps apart from Bruno’s fuzzed-up bass work on “Bratty B”. In its place, Cosentino offers straight pop and therefore Crazy For You makes great sense as a commercially viable collection, just that in places it seems to lack the grit that earlier numbers could have provided. See the throwaway closer “Each And Every Day” if you want proof.

This said, and to all of Best Coast’s credit, Crazy For You is still great and we are undoubtedly spoilt by Ms. Cosentino’s prolificacy. Repeated plays reveal a summery collection of light echo-y pop, but also a near-immaculate one that blows any initial disappointment right out the water.

“Boyfriend” is a lazy jewel with a punch that shouldn’t be underestimated, “The End” a surf number driven by summery bass, and “Happy” a silly, giddy little track about nothing much in particular. It’s arguably one-dimensional stuff, but it’s a cracking dimension nevertheless, one perhaps given a little depth with the darker sounding “Honey” and its droning vocal and ominous drumming.

Best Coast have always mined a 60s girl-group vibe, and this is happily intact for this album release. Its echoes, jangles and hooks play out nicely at various intervals, and noticeably bob smiling to the surface in “Our Deal”, shuffling along on one of Phil Spector’s own drum patterns. “Goodbye” even comes on like arch-slackers Weezer , as tackled by a latter-day Yeah Yeah Yeahs , and “I Want To” robs (ex) Interpol ‘s Carlos Dengler blind with its bass work, only slowing it funereally and adding more girl-group percussion and jangle.

Crazy For You isn’t crazy at all as it turns out. Wily Ms. Cosentino has more than made it work.

Advised downloads from Crazy For You: “Boyfriend”, “Honey” and “I Want To”. Also grab “Sun Was High (So Was I)”, “Something In The Way” and “When I’m With You” immediately.

~Crazy For You is out now on Mexican Summer , with Wichita doing the distribution in some regions.~