Grizzly Bear: Shields
Shields takes a traditional rock band formula and peppers it with more alternative influences to create something that I’ve come back to again and again.
The production of the album is second to none, I imagine the tracks like a finely embroidered quilt or a well cooked home meal. There are tightly woven melodies carefully blended with the vocals and mixed with a care and attention that make the whole a pleasure to listen to.
The production isn’t the only highlight though. The sophistication in its delivery of the tracks is only possible from their conception. The whole of the album feels like it has been developed thoughtfully from all the members of the band. This results in a natural feel to the tracks, they feel like they were played by a band as a group and not individuals divided by time and a clicktrack. You get the impression that it would sound as good in a live performance, that the complexities are there because of the talent of the individuals rather than the producer.
We hear an album that isn’t beaten by its production but complemented by it, an album takes influences of more alternative music and blends them effortlessly into something great. A definite highlight of the year.