Ra Ra Riot
Beta Love - BARSUK
FILTER Grade: 77%
By Adam Valeiras on February 19, 2013
Dutifully, I must report that the first two songs of Beta Love are not very good—they are simple and dance-y and, frankly, don’t require or deserve the repeated listens they are tracklistedly expected to receive. However, they are not like the rest of the album. The third track, “Beta Love,” and every song that comes after, work dexterously together to build a narrative about the loneliness and demanding expectations that come with romantic relationships: “When I call, I wonder/I run, yeah I run, but you follow/And when I dream, it’s not of you.” In terms of aesthetics, Beta Love breaches new territory for the band. Those familiar with their other albums will recognize the usual blending of sporadic drums and bass with smooth high strings, topped by Wes Miles’ reaching, octave-scaling vocal lines. Ra Ra Riot devotees will also recognize this electronic turn. The change, although typical of seemingly every 21st-century band, is respectfully executed, retaining Ra Ra Riot’s unique style, making this third album far less superfluous than most indie-rock bands’ later efforts.