‘7’ isn’t an awful album, but it is an incredibly average one.
Label: Bella Union
Released: 11th May 2018
‘7’ is Beach House’s seventh album (which probably explains the name). In the preceding six records, they’ve established themselves as one of the biggest dream-pop groups around and ‘7’ doesn’t try all that hard to tread new ground.
From opener ‘Dark Spring’ it’s clear that the album is happy to exist in Beach House’s well-worn niche, with ethereal vocals and a meandering pace lulling the listener into a trance. The trouble is you’ve heard it all before. Throughout ‘7’ there’s a real sense that the band may have finally run out of ideas, and there’s a lack of the underlying spark that originally made their work so enjoyable.
At its best, the album approaches the level of one of MGMT’s more tranquil offerings (think ‘Congratulations’, from the album of the same name), but at its worst, it sinks into a dull slog that seems to drag on far too long. Closing track ‘Last Ride’s runtime of exactly seven minutes is a neat touch, bug the song itself feels like a self-indulgent slow burner that never actually goes anywhere, much like the album on the whole.
‘7’ isn’t an awful album, but it is an incredibly average one. Fans of Beach House will find some tracks worth listening to, and everyone else will enjoy having it on in the background, but it’s hard to believe anyone will be genuinely excited to listen back once the last song is over. Jake Hawkes