Depression Cherry Album Review
Sub Pop/Bella Union
Released August 28, 2015
Genre: Dream Pop, Indie Pop
I’m as big as a fan of Beach House as the next person, but there’s no denying the fact that they can’t give us another dream pop album. After four albums, the duo have wrung this genre out dry and have delved into every nook and cranny of this genre – delivering innovative and game changing sounds and concepts that have changed the genre for the better and will stand the tests of time (See Teen Dream and Bloom). So when “Sparks” first came out, I was hyped because of the new shoegaze direction the band would go in; this enjoyably noisy style would be a great artistic direction to explore for a band. However, ‘Sparks” is the only snippet of shoegaze we are given. While the lyrical and emotional moments on this album are tender and heartfelt, the album feels a bit redundant, uninspired, and – I hate to say this- boring.
Boring is a subjective statement when treading the waters of dream pop, especially when treading this band’s take on the genre. You’ll either fall deep in love with the serene atmosphere of the band’s tender arrangements, or you don’t. Depression Cherry isn’t a stark departure from the band’s works and it isn’t necessarily a good move this time around either. Five albums in, you have to sorta ask yourself: when will Beach House give us something that will keep us interested? Something that will keep us on the line for anything else they may deliver? Depression Cherry takes away the band’s atmospheric and reverb drenched sound, and replaces it with more upfront and direct keyboards and guitar instrumentation – the only recognizable aspect this album has to offer. While there are some pretty good songs, when looking at this record from a dream pop/casual music fan perspective, that doesn’t negate the need for a new sound.
Too many times does this album make Beach House sound uninspired, redundant, and, as I’ve said before, boring. The track “10:37” sounds like the band hadn’t really fleshed out or fully developed the song’s direction, and it abruptly ends. Likewise, “PPP” features a guitar line straight out of Bloom, and since the tracks is a little over the seven minute mark, its redundancy lingers heavily. This moment happens halfway through the record, and it doesn’t really help this album’s game when trying to win a fan over. Beach House are still an extremely talented duo, and they can make up some sweet, evocative, and heartwarming tunes, with some of the best production even. But Depression Cherry is surprisingly bland for the band, as if they were almost to the point of profundity, but quit and gave us an under-cooked slice of what could’ve been; could’ve been, should’ve been.
FAV TRACKS: Sparks, Space Song, Beyond Love
LEAST FAV TRACKS: 10:37, PPP