Every Step’s a Yes
Nov 29, 2011 Web Exclusive
The fourth album by Isle of Wight, U.K. natives The Bees (or A Band of Bees as they are known in the U.S.) is a far cry from the band's last album, 2007's Octopus. Gone are upbeat, funky jams such as the slide guitar-augmented "Who Cares What the Question Is?," jazz-inflected fare such as "Left Foot Stepdown," and jaunty numbers such as "Got To Let Go" and "End of the Street." Instead, Every Step's a Yes more closely reflects a couple of that album's more subdued tracks, the smooth "(This Is For the) Better Days" and the lightly folky "The Ocularist." Overall, Every Step's a Yes, which was released in 2010 overseas and is just now getting a stateside release along with six bonus tracks, is mellow psych-folk that largely eschews the more bombastic and eclectic statements of the band's past recordings.
The album's first three tracks set the tone perfectly. The opening cut, "I Really Need Love," rides high on a '60s hippy vibe. "Winter Rose" is a hazy, slow patchouli-burn, a smooth, lightly horn-inflected number with a slight instrumental sparkle, and "Silver Line" relies on airy harmonies, sounding not unlike past tour-mates Fleet Foxes. Elsewhere, "Change Can Happen" is lushly orchestrated and features the most prominent flute this side of Jethro Tull, and "Pressure Makes Me Lazy" is all rain-stick sounding aural haze and laidback trippy ambience. By the time the band chimes in with its faithful Mamas and Papas cover (and one of the album's bonus tracks) "Go Where You Wanna Go," its modus operandi has become clear. (www.wearethebees.tumblr.com)
Author rating: 5/10
Average reader rating: 4/10