On Shields, Grizzly Bear seemingly picks up where they left off on the brilliant Veckatimest (My #1 Album of 2009). Like it’s predecessor, Shields is a beautifully written record that lends itself to a relaxing evening at home. This band masters group harmonies, always performing with force while remaining tastefully subtle.
The heavy arrangements on the opening ‘Sleeping Ute’, suck you in from the get go. This track was released as a single and had us pining for what was to come on the record. ‘Speak in Rounds’ sounds eerily similar to ‘Southern Point’ off of Veckatimest and both are beautiful tracks.
On ‘What’s Wrong’, the track crescendos into a Miles Davis Bitches Brew-esque instrumental finale, complete with haunting strings and all, overshadowed only by the peaceful ‘gun-shy,’ where lead singer Daniel Rosson’s voice stars alongside dreamy guitar effects.
Any way you chop it up, this is a spectacular start-to-finish album. Well produced, well executed and a worthy follow-up to one of the best contemporary rock albums of the last decade. Bravo.
Lastly, here’s a parting easter egg. If you know me well enough, you know that I FUCKING LOVE MICHAEL MCDONALD. Here’s a version of the classic ‘While You Wait For the Other’s’ by Grizzly Bear, featuring none other, than the man himself… MICHAEL FUCKING MCDONALD!