I haven't ever written a review on Amazon but feel compelled to do so for Teen Dream, which I bought on a whim last week and have been playing constantly ever since.
I read something about Beach House on Pitchfork almost a year ago when this album came out, downloaded "Zebra" for free off their website, and went on with my life...at that time really digging Television, Dylan, etc. I wasn't blown away by Zebra and wasn't even sure if the vocalist was a guy or a girl...
All this seems silly now considering my unapologetic awe at the cohesiveness, beauty, and emotion of this album. Also considering I have a serious crush on Victoria Legrand, the vocalist. In an age where CDs are old fashioned and even the album, regardless of listening format, seems dated, I found an incredible satisfaction with popping this CD into my stereo and listening to it all the way through. Multiple times. And although it's called Teen Dream, don't let the title fool you - this is not Katy Perry-style hooks. It's sonically beautiful, complex, and impressively mature.
The highlight for me is "10 mile stereo," which has an amazing drum progression and is a major vocal accomplishment. "Walk in the park" is also a great track, considering the subject matter of wanting to forget someone that was once important to you. I always read about great albums to listen to in a particular moment - whether you're getting it on, driving alone, breaking up, etc. I think one of the strong points of this album is that the cryptic lyrics and "dreamy" atmosphere appeal to different people in different ways. It's perfect for a great many occasions. It's accessible but authentic. It's emotional but efficient.
As far as criticisms, I will say it is true that the lyrics seem a bit hollow on paper - they require Ms. Legrand's voice to take on their meaning. Also, the DVD doesn't add much. Listen to the CD and put your own visuals to the songs - it's not very hard to do. In conclusion, I give this album my highest praises and hope you will give it a listen - it's the type of quality music that will actually make your life more interesting.