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Best Coast — The Only Place
"Stoned girl grows up a little, records with Jon Brion and professes undying love for her home state while occasionally flashing a fondness for Fleetwood Mac and old-school country" is perhaps not the most interesting angle for a record (to be fair, it is pretty fucking close in my book), but it's of particular note this time, given that the artist in question, Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast, has until this point in her career underutilized the considerable attributes of her voice. She pushes herself a little bit on The Only Place: her melodies are more intricate, and her presence in general is just bolder, more demanding of your attention. And though they're more varied than last time, her lyrics still verge on simplistic. It's an indictment that would be far more damning if she wasn't singing like her life depended on it.