My first review for InYourSpeakers was in July of ‘09, and I got the honor of reviewing an important record. It was Grizzly Bear’s Veckatimest, and looking back, I said some things that were pretty right and pretty wrong. Damn hindsight.
First of all, I start the review with a big-balls claim that Yellow House is a two-song album. Do you know where I got that information? What kind of sleuthing I did to arrive at such a definitive statement? I got it from nowhere! I just liked those two songs best, which is wildly fucking presumptuous. In my defense, “Knife” probably is everybody’s favorite song on that album, but “Colorado?” Who the hell knows? I don’t because I didn’t back up that claim with one iota of evidence. Cool, Bradley.
I remember feeling pretty proud of myself getting accepted into IYS, and reviewing one of 2009’s biggest albums had me swinging my dick all the more. I submitted a shambolic review and then remember being appalled that some bro named Henry (who has since moved on) sewed my review up to an acceptable level of cohesion. I needed that uppercut to the jaw to remind myself “Hey man, you’ve been here 13 seconds, and you’re not that fucking good.” Props to Henry for letting that review rest in peace in our archives and making me look less moronic.
Reviewing one of 2009’s biggest albums had me swinging my dick all the more
As for the music, I generally feel the same way about the songs themselves, but perhaps I had too much Bear love back then. I had no way of knowing then, but almost two years later, I don’t think about this album too much. Veckatimest is a pop record when compared to Yellow House, but I made the mistake of lauding it a pop record without surveying the rest of the landscape. Looking back on it, I remember the hooks in “Two Weeks”, “While You Wait for the Others”, and “Foreground”. The rest of the songs are mainly dense blurs that are cool slow-burners when you listen to them, but the problem is, it’s hard to get the urge to re-listen. I would tell June 2009 Bradley to note “song better when heard first and later is different.” Oh, and then Henry would have edited it to say, “a warm lovely album when you retreat it, but the problem is, it’s so dense, chances for reentry seem scarce.” Sounds about right, Henry! I’d dial back my Veckatimest boner a little bit and say, yeah it’s a good (really good) record, but it’s not a classic we’ll be talking about 15 years from now. It just doesn’t latch on to you enough.