Real Estate's career follows an arc that's become increasingly common in the last few years: lo-fi debut builds buzz, band signs to bigger label, moves to Brooklyn and, with a suddenly inflated budget, repurposes the original aesthetic to accommodate higher recording values.
That works out well for Real Estate, whose languid, carefree jangle-pop benefits from the brighter, cleaner production on their sophomore LP, but it also exposes their weakness as songwriters. Their unfussy beach-pop remains pristinely pleasant, but over the course of 41 minutes, it starts to blend into one unending mid-tempo mishmash.
In the absence of memorable or defined hooks, what stands out is the quietly virtuosic guitar-playing. It's impressive, but not quite enough to build an album around. Days is a step in the right direction, but we're hoping they can challenge themselves to do something greater on album three.
Top track: It's Real