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Josh T. Landow

CD of The Week

Week of 2/24/20

    Best Coast - Always Tomorrow (Concord)

    A decade after making a splash with their debut Crazy for You, and five years since their most recent release California Nights, Best Coast have released some of the strongest songs of their career on the pair's fourth album, Always Tomorrow.

    There has been a lack of new Best Coast music in part due to singer Bethany Cosentino battling writer's block, as well as working to get a handle on her mental health and substance abuse issues. All of this is key to Always Tomorrow, which equally mixes emotional clarity with catchy rock songs.

    "Everything Has Changed" set the tone for the new material, an aspirational tune written before Cosentino got sober, willing into existence a healthier lifestyle. She even looks back at her career and critics who mocked her songwriting early on and "Used to say that I was lazy / A lazy, crazy baby." The chiming "For the First Time" is another overall ode to self-improvement.

    Cosentino is close friends with the Clavin sisters of Bleached and Always Tomorrow is reminiscent of their 2019 album, Don't You Think You've Had Enough?, which was another clear-eyed look at sobriety and past mistakes on top of hooky, crunchy guitars. In fact, opener "Different Light" sounds right out of Bleached's playbook.

    "Graceless Kids" finds Cosentino questioning her standing as a rock star whose fans look up to, despite her many mistakes, asking herself, "Who am I to keep preaching to the graceless kids of tomorrow? / They need a hero, not a wreck / I'm just a phony in a floral print dress." On "Rollercoaster," she contemplates the mortality of her beloved cat Snacks and revisits her early girl group influences on "True," the only track that truly slows down the pace of Always Tomorrow. Musically, Always Tomorrow might be the loudest Best Coast record, as guitarist Bobb Bruno's cranked-up guitars perfectly complement Cosentino's moods and vocals on tracks like "Wreckage."

    Always Tomorrow is deeply autobiographical and at times almost uncomfortably as if we're sitting in on Cosentino's therapy sessions. The last few songs get a bit same-y, as Best Coast can tend to do, but they're also up against the impressive run of songs that kick off the record. After almost 40 minutes in her headspace, you'll be rooting for Cosentino and happy for here that everything has changed.

    **Donate $20 or more to Y-Not Radio to receive a CD copy of Always Tomorrow. Click here for details.

    Review by Joey O.

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