Shields (CD)


Grizzly Bear

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Amoeba Review

Billy Gil, Hollywood 12/17/2012

Grizzly Bear tried to go back to the drawing board when recording Shields, relocating and changing their approach, before scrapping that and going back to what they did best, recording in singer Ed Droste’s mother’s house in Cape Cod that yielded their previous records. Smart move. Even more so than 2009’s superb Veckatimest, Shields sounds like the apotheosis of a honed, hard-working band perfecting their sound. Lush and swooning, Shields also plays the trick of allowing for the band’s most thrilling guitarwork yet, on “Sleeping Ute’s” angry arpeggios and “Yet Again’s” expansive arrangement.


09/18/2012

One of the year’s finest rock albums comes with Grizzly Bear’s Shields, improbably an even more consistent album than 2009’s excellent Veckatimest. Beginning with the soft explosion of “Sleeping Ute,” in which frontman Ed Droste sings of his “wanderings dreams” amid regal electric guitars, fluttering synths and acoustics, Chris Taylor’s grounding basslines and Chris Bear’s dynamic drumwork, Shields continues through a back-and-forth between the more immediate pop thrills of Veckatimest and more ambient feel of their older material. “Speak in Rounds” has the same sort of glorious harmonies we heard on “While You Wait for the Others” but with more rock propulsion than the band usually employs. Meanwhile, tracks like the wordless “Adelama” and slowly shuffling “The Hunt” highlight their placid side. But Shields is also a progression of their sound in addition to a refinement of it. “Yet Again” scales back the grabbiness of an older song like “Two Weeks” for a lushly expansive take on the rock single, perhaps showing some influence from Radiohead, with whom they toured a few years back in a dream bill. Similarly extended and confident, “A Simple Answer” is one of Daniel Rossen’s finest showcases to date, building on his typically mysterious melodies to a gratifying, grandiose chorus. An addictive listen, it’s easy to lose yourself in the layers of Shields and find something newly impressive each time.



Track Listing



Disc 1 Titles
Artist
Length
1.
Sleeping Ute
Grizzly Bear 04:35
2.
Speak in Rounds
Grizzly Bear 04:24
3.
Adelma
Grizzly Bear 01:02
4.
Yet Again
Grizzly Bear 05:18
5.
The Hunt
Grizzly Bear 03:44
6.
A Simple Answer
Grizzly Bear 06:00
7.
What's Wrong
Grizzly Bear 05:44
8.
Gun-Shy
Grizzly Bear 04:30
9.
Half Gate
Grizzly Bear 05:30
10.
Sun in Your Eyes
Grizzly Bear 07:06

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