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Phases & Stages

Reviewed by Audra Schroeder, June 5, 2009, Music

Grizzly Bear

Veckatimest (Warp)

Grizzly Bear's proper 2006 debut, Yellow House, made bloggers weak in the knees, breathless from flowery adjectives. Thankfully, the NYC quartet's third album is a lot less flowery. String arrangements by boy wonder Nico Muhly shift coolly rather than in a hot blast as piano and guitar flirt with drums and bass. Opener "Southern Point" and follow-up "Two Weeks" strengthen GB's harmonies, and "Fine for Now" rips like CSNY always wanted to, guitars exploding from Edward Droste's casually delivered rhetorical: "If we're all faltering, how do I help with that?" Veckatimest doesn't necessarily propel, but it's an interesting trot, each song echoing the last without feeling too familiar. "Dory" is the only track that drags the album down, or rather feels too precious. Grizzly Bear did what's often impossible for lesser acts: shrugged off the overheated tongues of the Internet, refined its sound, and put out a solid disc. (Grizzly Bear's Parish show, Tuesday, June 16, is sold out.)


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