Grizzly Bear / Shields

Rating: C+
For those fortunate enough to listen to their debut Veckatimest, know the infinite glow that album has about itself. Each track was like adventure all on it own. After touring, Grizzly bear took a 3 year sabbatical before regrouping in the studio to produce Shields. Shields will forever be the step-child to Veckatimest and at times it acts like it as well. Sometimes the album feels as vibrant and contiguous as with songs like Sleeping Ute and Gun Shy. Then there are moments when it almost they just seem confused and trying to hard. As with most bands, it seems side projects and differing influences slipped into fill the cracks. This album is also mixed a bit different than other releases and appears at points to be trying to trap the sound of the band in a water-less snow globe. In general I like the record and I think it’s even better when I don’t compare it to the masterpiece that is its predecessor.  For those new to the Grizzly, start with Veckatimest and move through the other releases before conquering this one.

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