CD art cover titled  "The Only Place" by Best Coast.

CD art cover titled "The Only Place" by Best Coast. Credit: Handout/

Best Coast branches out on "The Only Place" (Mexican Summer), expanding the mastery of the sun-kissed, retro-California indie-pop sound on "Crazy for You" to '60s girl-group pop and '80s college-rock jangling. Singer Bethany Cosentino is still all about simplicity, in her delivery and in her lyrics, but her multi-instrumentalist collaborator Bobb Bruno and precise producer Jon Brion giddily place her in new contexts. The title track feels like it could spin off into The Smiths' "This Charming Man" at any moment, while "How They Want Me to Be" sounds like a lost Shangri-Las' song about teenage rebellion.

BEST COAST

"The Only Place"

GRADE B+

BOTTOM LINE Sunny pop about feeling blue

Top Stories