| January 26, 2010|
| Autumn 2009|
22 January 2010
| Dream pop, Indie rock, Indie pop|
Beach House albums, Indie rock albums
Teen Dream is the third studio album by American dream pop duo Beach House, released in January 2010. Produced by Chris Coady, Teen Dream is Beach House's Sub Pop debut. The album was well received by the music press, who hailed it as one of the best albums of 2010.
NME Magazine included it in their 2013 edition of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. The album was also included in the 2014 edition of the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
In August 2014, Pitchfork Media ranked the album the 5th best album of the 2010s so far.
The recording of Teen Dream took place after extensive touring of the Beach House's previous album, Devotion (2008). According to Legrand, while on tour "we definitely stored up a lot of energy and ideas that we had. By the end of the touring cycle we couldn’t wait to get back home to start working on the next record. In some ways, touring is a restraint on the creative side, because it’s hard to write on the road. So you just have to wait, and sit on this anticipation until the time you’re able to spend days, weeks, months working on something." The duo strove to create a more "sophisticated" album and, according to the group, the demos of this record were comparable to the final tracks that made up their previous record. Also, their use of extensive reverb was held back significantly. According to Alex Scally "There's very little reverb on the record".
Recording this album was considerably more expensive; Scally says, "Every bit of money we got, we spent. The recording was insanely expensive. Every single step of the way, we've just tried to go more, go further".
"Norway" was released online on November 17, 2009, with the full album leaking onto the Internet a few days later.
Reception for Teen Dream was very positive. Review aggregator Metacritic, which collates reviews from various publications, indicates a score of 82 out of 100 from 35 professional critics, indicating "universal acclaim". Many reviews commented on the change in sound including BBC Music, who stated that "the most unmistakeable sound on Teen Dream is that of a band truly finding its own voice". Several publications focused on Victoria Legrand's vocals, with Jody Rosen of Rolling Stone complimenting Legrand's "dusky torch singing" and The Boston Phoenix praising her voice as "coiling like smoke in the arches of the church". Robert Christgau, writing in MSN Music, selected "Lover of Mine" and "Norway" as highlights and awarded the album a one-star honorable mention rating, indicating "a worthy effort consumers attuned to its overriding aesthetic or individual vision may well like." In a negative review, Tom Hughes of The Guardian felt that Teen Dream is "carefully, even beautifully arranged", but nonetheless "oddly icy and melodically a little ineffectual". Audra Schroeder of The Austin Chronicle called the album "solid" but felt that it was "not Beach House's masterpiece," quipping that the duo "still got some gold dust to kick up".
Teen Dream was listed at number 17 on Rolling Stone's list of the 30 Best Albums of 2010. Teen Dream was named the 5th Best Album of 2010 by Pitchfork. In the publication's list of The Top 50 Albums of 2010, writer Stuart Berman points out the ubiquity of the album's sounds, stating "its billowy synth lines and sleigh-bell accents made it perfect winter listening. But the album made even more sense as the warm weather arrived—Teen Dream captures Beach House in the midst of a great thaw, the frosty surfaces melting away to reveal full-blooded passion". In Canada, Beach House was named Exclaim!'s No. 3 Pop & Rock Album of 2010. Writer Dimitri Nasrallah said "Beach House's third album is sublime and singular; working through a creative high point, the duo hit their stride in the songwriting department." In her review of Teen Dream's follow-up album Bloom, Pitchfork Media's Lindsay Zoladz refers to Teen Dream as Beach House's "first great record."
The album debuted 43 on the Billboard 200 with 13,000 copies sold in its first week. It has sold a total of 140,000 copies as of May 2012.
A special edition DVD package was released containing either a CD or Vinyl and a DVD, featuring psychedelic visuals for each track from Teen Dream, produced by a separate director.
1Zebra4:49Teen Dream Wikipedia