Grizzly Bear: Veckatimest

By: Dennis Cook

Haunting, large scale and unabashedly beautiful, Veckatimest (released May 26 on Warp) presents a vision both inviting and oblique, slashing lines of color vibrated by timpani whap and choirboy falsetto. Their third long-player is the charm for Grizzly Bear, who clamor artfully here, a lovelier version of the "let's make an orchestra" vibe one gets from Arcade Fire but accomplished with more skip in their step and a greater embrace of pop mores. For all its complexities and smarty-pants conceptualizing, Veckatimest hits the ear with a kiss, a beatific touch with elements of the bittersweetest Beach Boys, Efterklang's fizzy lifting power, '70s singer-songwriter mope and Subtle's linguistic judo. Strip away the record geek references and it's just such an appealing album on its own fine merits, full of catchy, lightly unpredictable turns, pretty vocals and loads of open space in their verses for one to embed themselves in. One can get blissfully lost (and quietly found) in the vast ranging of "Southern Point" and "While You Wait For The Others," and even the more concise sections move a few good miles before leaving you grinning by the side of the road. Quite likely one of the best things any of us are gonna hear this year.

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[Published on: 5/29/09]

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