The Only Place

Metascore
66

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 37
  2. Negative: 2 out of 37
  1. 100
    The Only Place [is] better-sung, slower, [and] expansively produced.
  2. The chirpy opener about fun in the sun is a feint‑-the lyrics that follow are so depressive that the consistent cheer and conservatism of the tunes is like some perverse minimalist art move.
  3. Jun 7, 2012
    80
    BC's second album fizzes with both upbeat hymns to fun in the sun and achingly sad odes to lost love. [May 2012, p.53
  4. May 16, 2012
    80
    Best Coast will never win over the cynics who like their music to sport a more assured style of intelligence and invention, but for those who fell in love with the sunburnt stoner of old, there's plenty more to revel in, here.
  5. May 14, 2012
    80
    The Only Place delivers riveting drama in a rousing pop package, with Brion rescuing Best Coast from the fuzzed-out, lo-fi indie template, cleaning up their sound and enhancing the potential for mainstream appeal exponentially without diminishing their artistic credibility.
  6. May 10, 2012
    80
    The results are surprisingly engrossing.
  7. 80
    The record is sophisticated. [Jun 2012, p.78]
  8. May 8, 2012
    80
    A string of minicrises about judgy friends, bad habits and turbulent relationships – relatable quarter-life bummers, spun into hooks as indelible as Taylor Swift's.
  9. May 15, 2012
    78
    While Crazy For You sounded like fog rolling in over the bay with its reverb-heavy production, The Only Place effectively burns it off, even when Cosentino's dear-diary lyrics are at their gloomiest.
  10. With repeated listens, even the least of the songs still reach for that relaxing, carefree Best Coast vibe, but the feeling takes more work to achieve compared to the immediately lovable, attention-demanding nature of their entirely natural, easy-as-pie debut.
  11. May 14, 2012
    75
    Cool little touches abound, from the chiming percussion that enhances the dusky "Dreaming My Life Away" to the waltz-time vocal coda in "Last Year."
  12. May 16, 2012
    70
    Cosentino's songwriting has definitely strengthened, it's just that instead of sounding like her peers at the Smell, she'd rather sound like her heroes on the AM dial, and that's not a bad thing.
  13. May 10, 2012
    70
    It's the sound of a group ably treading water while its scars are glossed over with a Golden State tan.
  14. May 9, 2012
    70
    Musically, it's business as usual as they follow up their 2010 debut with more indie pop infused with the melodrama of The Ronettes and The Shangri-Las. [Jun 2012, p.69]
  15. May 8, 2012
    70
    Best Coast still sound like Best Coast, but now they're tidier, shinier and looking us right in the eye.
  16. May 14, 2012
    68
    While The Only Place loses much of the simplicity that made Crazy for You such a breezy, fun listen, there's only room for growth in records to come.
  17. May 31, 2012
    67
    [Consentino's] gorgeous, autumnal voice still carries the weight, but Best Coast is left sounding less vital.
  18. May 15, 2012
    67
    It's a more sophisticated effort, but it doesn't disown the rudimentary pleasures of Crazy For You.
  19. May 16, 2012
    62
    The album does have its charms. Cosentino is still in fine voice, and she continues to have a warm and agreeable persona... [Yet linear] thinking permeates The Only Place, a grinding sense of marks being hit while inspiration is in short order.
  20. Jul 18, 2012
    60
    It's still summer music, but The Only Place captures that moment when it's time to wrap a cardigan around your shoulders against the chill. [Jun 2012, p.83]
  21. Jun 19, 2012
    60
    Themes of fun, sun and beach-bum ennui pervade, but even if it fails to reach the summery stoner highs of their previous record, there's no denying The Only Place's indomitable West Coast pop-rock melodies and sugary thrills. [Jun 2012, p.97]
  22. May 24, 2012
    60
    The songwriting is flat-footed, with few moments that break from the homogeneous stupor. [No.87 p.54]
  23. 60
    While there's certainly something to be said for BestCoast's paeans to the utopian side of life near the Pacific, the subtle shifts in Cosentino's songwriting are best experienced when the rays of sunshine are muted.
  24. May 14, 2012
    60
    There are still moments of magic but it sounds like the work of a band in transition, and not necessarily for the better.
  25. 60
    She's a wreck and she's out of her element, but she's flesh and blood, and that's something to love about her. It's just a shame there's not enough of it here.
  26. May 18, 2012
    50
    Too bad it all falls apart so drastically when you factor in Cosentino's disastrous lyrics.
  27. May 16, 2012
    50
    With Cosentino's voice free of effects and upfront in the mix, it's more apparent just how rudimentary her songwriting is.
  28. May 16, 2012
    50
    It's the clingiest and most needy record I've heard in a while.
  29. May 15, 2012
    50
    Not to say The Only Place doesn't have its moments, but they're ultimately not bold and fresh enough to avoid being drowned out by the self-absorbed kvetching.
  30. May 15, 2012
    50
    The band sounds like they're struggling to come up with a new template, a feeling that leaves The Only Place sounding shiftless and adrift.
  31. May 14, 2012
    50
    Only Place doesn't say or feel much, which would be fine if it didn't sound like it was trying so hard to say or feel a lot.
  32. 40
    Here they're going through the motions, missionary style, with mechanical jangly pop and the wince-inducing triteness of Cosentino's lyrics.
  33. May 17, 2012
    40
    Elsewhere, the tunes sag rather than sing, and Bethany Constantino's lyrics about being bored and lazy become cloudily familiar.
  34. May 14, 2012
    40
    Each song is tediously nonspecific, the sort of doggerel any other prominent indie-rocker would cringe at the idea of singing out loud.
  35. May 14, 2012
    40
    It's not terrible, but it is a weaker effort.
  36. May 8, 2012
    30
    This is an empty record, and the exact opposite of what it means to write classic music, because through all its forced smiles and fake problems, it's an album that means absolutely nothing to me.
  37. May 16, 2012
    10
    Another eleven baseless mehs that belong nowhere else than on a blog that no one reads.
User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 34 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 9
  2. Negative: 1 out of 9
  1. Aug 12, 2012
    4
    This album REALLY disappointed me. Crazy for You was fun and breezy, and the kitschy lyrics could be forgiven amidst the great melodies andThis album REALLY disappointed me. Crazy for You was fun and breezy, and the kitschy lyrics could be forgiven amidst the great melodies and stoner vibes. But trying to go all Neko Case on us Best Coast ends up falling flat on their face. Thing whole country thing just flat out doesnt work. Maybe if the rhymes weren't recycled from the last album and the subject matter matched the aesthetic, the album can be enjoyed, but the whole album just seems at odds with itself. But lets give credit where credit is due. With her vocals right up front in the mix, Beth Cosentino shows just how great her voice is, something that I think a lot of people missed on the first album, which again was a great album and I dont think a complete re-hashing of it would have worked out either so trying a new sound is at least commendable but just not likeable in this case. Full Review »
  2. Jul 21, 2012
    8
    Best Coast's second album seems to ditch the Lo-Fi sound, which I had enjoyed a lot; however, with better production value, the album exposesBest Coast's second album seems to ditch the Lo-Fi sound, which I had enjoyed a lot; however, with better production value, the album exposes increased depth in lyrics (compared to 'Crazy for You') and Bethany Consentino's vocal talents. Some tracks have more of a somber tone, which is different from their debut album. Not every track is a stunner, but it definitely worth the listen!
    Favorite tracks: Dreaming My Life Away, The Only Place, Why I Cry
    Full Review »
  3. May 24, 2012
    7
    I absolutely loved Crazy for You - thought it was a superb album and not just a summer record. Best Coasts sound on their debut was prettyI absolutely loved Crazy for You - thought it was a superb album and not just a summer record. Best Coasts sound on their debut was pretty basic (drums, bass, guitar and vocals) but it was all they needed to get their sound out. I did wonder in what direction the band would go next and how they would build on Crazy for You. The Only Place has many of the elements that made its predecessor so likeable but the production is definitely different. There are more layers on this record and it's got a slicker sound. Unfortunately at times the energy and the songs get a bit lost underneath. This record has got good tunes on it but they are still using the same chord sequences and song formula they applied on their first. Essentially there isn't much progression but I'd still recommend the record and would definitely recommend the band. Full Review »