Review : Grizzly Bear - Shields
GuardianAnyone looking for a sobering contrast between the British and American rock scenes could alight on the differing career trajectories of indie bands. The firework band seems to have become the norm over here: we now expect artists to appear fully formed, then spend the rest of their careers struggling to appear as interesting as they did at first. Compare this to the fortunes of Grizzly Bear. They started life in 2004 – a year Britain was falling, at various angles, for Razorlight, the Others, the 22-20s and Goldie Lookin' Chain – as the home-recording project of Edward Droste, the results meant only to be heard by friends. But the tape circulated and the band toured relentlessly: following the release of 2006's Yellow House, they supported Radiohead, whose guitarist Jonny Greenwood acclaimed them as his favourite band. In 2009, they crashed into the US top 10 with their third album, Veckatimest....full text
HitfixConsidering the production quality and sophisticated arrangements that went into previous Grizzly Bear efforts, expectations are raised with each record. The quartet’s latest “Shields,” in turn, doesn’t fail to deliver another batch of gorgeously built tunes, despite having no dramatic evolution in sound.
Urgent single “Yet Again” is the essence of what makes up the pop side of Grizzly Bear, as its glimmering harmonies are met with occasionally harsh guitar sounds, and the sung syllables cut to the tense narrative and not to the beat. “Adelma,” too, is restless and refreshingly vibrant, contrasted against calm cuts like “gun-shy,” a slow-morphing idea that grew out of a Wah pedal (or, at least, the crybaby sound) as it grooves chilly-eyed through cute dashes of a clap track.
“What’s Wrong” sounds most like a track from the pen of Daniel Rossen, the closest relative to his Department of Eagles side project from a couple years ago, as the singers’ ghostly long vowels trip over the sound of soft mallets on toms. Its story is around the evergreen and ever-unknown “you,” an example of Grizzly Bear lyrics propelled by atmosphere more than a particular story. They’re proving themselves more instrumentally capable than ever before in expressing those luscious ambiguities, like in the dark forest corners of “Sleeping Ute.”...full text
NewantiquesOne of the most anticipated albums of the year and possibly the album I have been itching for the most is finally in my possession: “Shields”
I adore Grizzly Bear, CANT and Department of Eagles it seems anything any member of this group dabbles in is masterful and ‘Shields’ is no exception…
We all knew following up “Veckatimest” would be an incredible feat. However, there is something about ‘Shields’ which has allowed them to complete this task seemingly with ease. I will now attempt to take you on that journey, the journey which is their incredible return...full text
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