Mostly it's hard to say what puts Veronica Falls over the top in a genre where so many fall flat. Enthusiasm? Personality? Songs? Probably all of that, as well as the indefinable quality that makes old genres come alive again.
While this sense of restraint feels deliberate, it does raise hopes that the band will fully go off the deep end the next time around. Nevertheless, Veronica Falls is an overall engaging album of contrasts.
For an album with no discernible weak links--we'll deduct a mark simply because half these songs were previously available--the final quarter is where Veronica Falls finds itself elevated alongside 2011's best.