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Grizzly Bear - Shields Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 9.5
Musicianship 9.5
Lyrics 8.25
Production 9.25
Creativity 9.5
Lasting Value 9
Reviewer Tilt 9.75
Final Verdict: 93%
Member Ratings
Vocals 4.75
Musicianship 4.63
Lyrics 4.38
Production 4.88
Creativity 5
Lasting Value 4.88
Reviewer Tilt 5
Average: 48%
Inside AP.net

Grizzly Bear - Shields

Reviewed by: Kelly Doherty (10/18/12)
Grizzly Bear - Shields
Record Label: Warp
Release Date: September 18, 2012


Have you ever listened to an album and just had it click? You know, when you listen to a record and within the first minute, your foot is a-tapping, after the first song youíre singing along and by your second listen to the album, youíre telling anyone thatíll listen that youíve found this band that is ĎOh my God, the best thing everí? Well, I have. Upon hearing Grizzly Bearís 2009 effort, Veckatimest, for the first time, I did a victory dance of sorts and decided "Two Weeks" was the anthem of my life. So as excited as I was for Shields, a niggling sense of anxiety kept on telling me that it wasnít going to reach the dizzying height of life affirmation that their third release did. However, my fears were for nothing. Shields shows the Brooklyn four-piece at their most exciting, most experimental and most thrilling. And no, itís not Veckatimest II.

First thing to note about this release - itís exquisite. As in, if one had to review this album in one word, exquisite pretty much encapsulates Grizzly Bearís sound. Whilst the mainstream may have picked up on the slightly quirky indie-pop of "Two Weeks", thatís not what Grizzly Bear are really about. Shields is a montage of grand pianos, sophisticated sounding vocals, echos and bombastic climaxes. Opener "Sleeping Ute" is somewhat jangly, but a surprisingly rocking start to the album. Sounding utterly effortless yet somehow incredibly intricate and musically complex, the track has a retro vibe to it, with the vocals being as irresistible as ever. The vocals, so unique and distinct, are a highlight of the record. Not once do they not hit the spot, and they have a calm yet commanding quality to them which is incredibly important to the overall package of the release.

Second track "Speak In Rounds" is one of the catchier tracks of the release and sounds somewhat like what would happen if The xx, Woods and Twin Shadow recorded a track together. Production on this track, and in general on the whole album, is quite perfect, with each obscure form of instrumentation being crystal clear. Although, production isnít usually a key component in indie music, it helps to make this album sound as giant as it does, and it also allows the record to be a masterful, intelligent piece of music rather than a collection of indie-pop songs. "Yet Again" is another track that benefits from the production, with the song sounding simply beautiful. The song is timeless, and is a definite highlight of the release with its simple but epic aesthetic and Drosteís vocals having their biggest showcase of the album.

"Whatís Wrong" is Grizzly Bear at their most baroque-pop, with its slow, almost theatrical air, whilst closer "Sun In Your Eyes" is spectacular with its bombastic orchestral instrumentation, and its piano led ending. Lyrically, the album might not be the most complex or interesting, however, whether or not you are a fan of what Grizzly Bear create, it cannot be denied that they are masterful musicians who put everything into creating their music. Shields not only matches its predecessor in Grizzly Bearís back catalogue, but it exceeds it. Album of the year? Quite possibly.

Recommended If You LikeWoods; Dirty Projectors; Twin Shadow; spectacular music


Additional InformationTrack Listing
1. Sleeping Ute
2. Speak In Rounds
3. Adelma
4. Yet Again
5. The Hunt
6. A Simple Answer
7. What's Wrong
8. Gun- Shy
9. Half Gate
10. Sun In Your Eyes

Band Members
Ed Droste
Daniel Rossen
Chris Taylor
Christopher Bear

9.5/10
Official Site
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Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 15.
03:53 PM on 10/18/12
#2
Chris Collum
No dumbass dove in my dumbass brain
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Haha only a month late. Great album.
04:02 PM on 10/18/12
#3
SpyKi
This Charming Man
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Still need to give this more listens.
04:09 PM on 10/18/12
#4
Ismael182
turn on tune in drop out
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Finally a review for this, been waiting a month!

Album of the Year? For me, yes very much. I don't see another album coming out this year to be this good. Every single song is a gem. IMO, a giant improvement on the critically acclaimed Veckatimest. This album is just much more interesting. The vocal harmonies, the melodies, just everything about it is exquisite. "Yet Again," "gun-shy," and "Half Gate" are the highlights for me, fantastic.
05:10 PM on 10/18/12
#5
Brissona
Dye the World
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Doesn't Daniel rossen do most of the vocal work in "Sleeping Ute"?
05:53 PM on 10/18/12
#6
justbradley
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I've really been meaning to check this band out, and I almost did this past weekend, but I bought the new Bad Books album instead. Haha.
08:52 AM on 10/20/12
#7
Anthony Sorendino
Don't you dare ever give up...
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Definitely should check them out.
12:37 PM on 10/20/12
#8
Mailbox Rumor
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Good album but definitely not an "A" album. It'll be lucky to crack my top 20.
04:42 PM on 10/20/12
#9
TylerHartman
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I've really been meaning to check this band out, and I almost did this past weekend, but I bought the new Bad Books album instead. Haha.

You made the right choice picking up Bad Books, regardless of how good the new GB album is. BB 2 is AMAZING.
07:03 PM on 10/20/12
justbradley
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You made the right choice picking up Bad Books, regardless of how good the new GB album is. BB 2 is AMAZING.
I haven't listened to Bad Books before this album, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect, other than the review I read on here. It's absolutely fantastic.
08:02 AM on 10/21/12
TylerHartman
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I haven't listened to Bad Books before this album, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect, other than the review I read on here. It's absolutely fantastic.

Saw them in Portland, Oregon, two days before 2 came out...I highly recommend going to check them out live. It's like Manchester Orchestra comedy hour...they mess around and just have fun and tell jokes, all the while rocking the fuck out. The best $14 I've ever spent.
09:39 AM on 10/21/12
blue_light_888
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First time listening to this band, halfway through this album, and I am loving every minute of it. I have been looking for bands that sound like Typhoon, and this just hits the spot. Thanks for the great review.
03:37 PM on 10/21/12
justbradley
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Saw them in Portland, Oregon, two days before 2 came out...I highly recommend going to check them out live. It's like Manchester Orchestra comedy hour...they mess around and just have fun and tell jokes, all the while rocking the fuck out. The best $14 I've ever spent.
Wow, really? I may have do that! I've been getting into them more, and I really like this album, so seeing them live someday would be awesome.
06:59 PM on 10/21/12
AMackChuck
I am...Bakerguy
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Really dissapointed with the Bad Books comments. That record us good, but it stands miles away compared to this GB record. It's the best album that has out will come out this year. Period.
07:02 PM on 10/21/12
Ismael182
turn on tune in drop out
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Agreed, I went and listened to the Bad Books album cause of the comments. Yeah the album is pretty alright, but no where near as good as Shields, I don't get the comparisons.
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