California Nights

Best Coast - California Nights
Critic Score
Based on 25 reviews
2015 Ratings: #534 / 771
User Score
Based on 103 ratings
2015 Ratings: #421
May 5, 2015 / Release Date
LP / Format
Harvest / Label
Indie Pop / Genres
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bestcoast.us / Website
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CRITIC REVIEWS

80
DIY

Granted, they may not be reinventing the wheel, but the duo feel reinvigorated.

80
AllMusic

On California Nights, they made a risky choice and it pays off in a big way. They come off assured and confident, fully in control of the songs and the sound in a way they never have before.

80
Spin

Part of the fun of California Nights — and don’t get it wrong, the album is on a proud par with their first two — comes from the link Cosentino and Bruno draw between introspection and universality.

80
FasterLouder

The album title may be as clichéd as it comes, but California Nights is the sound of the band developing a full comprehension of exactly what Best Coast can be.

75
The Line of Best Fit

California Nights takes the melodic tightness of Crazy for You and infuses it, start-to-finish, with clever, varied guitar work that almost makes you feel daft for thinking that the one-track distortion of their debut was the key component of the Best Coast sound.

75
A.V. Club

Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno have left the lo-fi aesthetic behind in favor of a big, anthemic guitar sound, which turns out to be just what was needed to disguise the now-characteristic weaknesses in Cosentino’s songwriting.

74
Paste

California Nights is a hook-filled guitar record, like Weezer’s Blue Album, with a more muscular rhythm section than anything we heard on previous Best Coast records.

70
NME

The dreamy, sun-streaked yearning remains, but the humour that laced Bethany Cosentino’s bratty ennui has gone. ‘California Nights’ is, instead, full of more sobering concerns – medication, heartbreak, insomnia.

70
Exclaim!

Cosentino's songs mine the same emotions over and over with similar results, but that doesn't mean there's any less truth in her words the first, tenth or 30th time out.

70
American Songwriter

California Nights sets up and subsequently knocks out one potential radio hit after another.

70
PopMatters

Best Coast still have delivered an overall solid album with California Nights, but it remains hard to see how the simplification of their craft and the softening of their image will allow Consentino to attract new listeners without losing the older ones. 

70
Clash

With 'California Nights', Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno have crafted an album of understated material that stays true to the band's initial indie pop roots. Far from a departure, it's more the continuation of a recurring theme.

70
Rolling Stone

Except for the unusual title track – an extended dream-pop reverie about wanting to get lower, not higher – there's a sugar-crusted sameness to the songs that can occasionally wear thin. But as with Best Coast's beloved Ramones, you could also call it consistency.

70
Billboard

While the band's sunny, Spector-esque disposition remains on third album California Nights, the melodies and arrangements have a new depth (even if the lyrics remain wafer-thin).

70
The 405

Aside from two or three fillers, this record should be applauded for doing what Consentino does best: writing melodies that stick in your head for days. She should also be commended for at least trying to break out of her surf-pop beginnings.

67
Consequence of Sound

California Nights, offers a rousing, restless answer, peeling away the layers of haze to reveal a mature ambivalence that feels more sincere — and less forced — than anything Cosentino’s done since Crazy for You.

67
Pretty Much Amazing

It’s a pleasant, undemanding pop-rock record that one can hear without needing to listen. 

64
Pitchfork

California Nights is a professional album: heavy-ish, filled with hooks, somewhere between "fast enough to dance" and "slow enough to sigh to while looking out of a window." 

60
The Guardian

Bethany and Bobb’s third record is like a needy, narcissistic LA teen in an ironic Avril Lavigne T-shirt who loiters round the house, nagging and nudging you until you’ve no option but to be endeared by its gawkish vulnerability.

50
Drowned in Sound

The 12-track duration of this record does feel slightly long, especially as three-quarters of it would sound like one long Best Coast song if you stitched it together.

50
No Ripcord

While California Nights doesn’t offer a more sophisticated version of Best Coast so much as a blander one, the heightened ambition of the songwriting and production could be an important step forward for the band.

siberianbreaks
NR
Ok, so Best Coast knows how to come up with a new album name and new album art. Now if they could only come up with new songs.

Favourite tracks: California Nights
steviedub
40
This album is the abortion my mother probably should have had.
winitheju
70
A much stronger effort than The Only Place. This album seems purposeful and with catchy tunes that make you long for an summer evening at the beach in the same way their first album made you long for a day at the beach. The tracks speak of more serious matters, showing the band's maturity.
69
California Nights sees Best Coast upping their game from a couple of very lackluster efforts, but the novelty has worn off from the lo-fi origins that helped make their debut so irresistible. Bethany Cosentino isn't going to win any poetry prizes anytime soon but she's pushing self (a bit more anyway), and the guitar hooks are getting better too. The repetition, once part of their charm, is starting to feel (ahem) lazy, but you don't expect anything besides more of the same from a latter-day ... read more
79
The sound of the album is ahead of the first two. The hooks and melodies do their job and it make you return every single time.
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END OF YEAR LISTS

#19/Blare
#40/Variance
#42/SPIN

Track List

  1. Feeling O.K.
  2. Fine Without You
  3. Heaven Sent
  4. In My Eyes
  5. So Unaware
  6. When Will I Change
  7. Jealousy
  8. California Nights
  9. Fading Fast
  10. Run Through My Head
  11. Sleep Won’t Ever Come
  12. Wasted Time
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Added on: February 18, 2015