The first impression from this album is that ‘Shields’ is an eloquent album, one that showcases a band ready to take on board their success and prove themselves by getting better and better each year. Taking first impressions out of the equation, ‘Shields’ is still an eloquent album, featuring some of Grizzly Bear’s greatest song-writing yet. Grizzly Bear (so far) have been one of those bands whose albums and music get stronger with each release. It’s a delightful quality to see in a band, and is certainly one of Grizzly Bear’s greatest strengths.
‘Shields’ as an album is one that just works. Each song runs into the next with perfect precision, perhaps more-so than their previous album ‘Veckatimest’. Everything seems to just work, with everything being at the top of their game. The song-writing is the best it’s ever been, as its the performance on the album. Vocals just slide in and out of the music almost effortlessly, floating around a variety of different notes. It is a delight to listen to, and helps to make the album seam together. There is a nice variety in the levels the music gives off in the album. Some songs build up to wonderful loud movements, whilst others remain at low levels, sticking to the quiet and staying there.
Among the songs that stand-out on the album are ‘Sleeping Ute’ which begins as a great way to begin the album. It hits the right note, drawing the listener into the album, and helps demonstrate most of what is to follow on the album, with the vocals and instrumentals in the music. Another is ‘Gun-Shy’ which features wonderful vocals that travel up and down over a low level of music that introduces more layers here and there. The track is one of the better tracks that is at the lower-end of the music, and is one of Grizzly Bear’s nicest tracks in their whole repertoire. The album’s final track ‘Sun In Your Eyes’ features a wonderful build up, with wonderful instrumentals underneath brilliant vocals. It remains a suiting way to end what is arguably one of Grizzly Bear’s strongest albums.
- ★★★★☆ 4/5
- Sleeping Ute
- A Simple Answer
- Sun In Your Eyes