December 14, 2021

Real Estate - Days (2011)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Indie Rock
Label Number: DNO 305

© 2011 Domino
Real Estate crystallize their entire attitude and approach in a single phrase off of Days: “I’m not OK, but I guess I’m doin’ fine.” This feeling of pleasant entrapment permeates the band’s second album from its sound down to its lyrical subjects. Working with producer Kevin McMahonReal Estate give their music a coat of polish that makes their jangly guitars, sighing melodies, and complex harmonies glisten, but also smoothes off the edges and quirks that made their self-titled debut so appealing. Granted, the band’s charm was low-key in the first place, but this newfound sheen makes it easier for songs to drift into one ear and out the other without leaving much behind. Similarly, the playing here is much tighter than on Real Estate, making for a more cohesive sound that leaves less opportunity for accidental magic, such as the way “Suburban Beverage” sped up ever so slightly as it faded (however, “All the Same” provides a mirror image to “Beverage” as it coasts to a stop). Days' manicured ennui presents one partly cloudy song after another, all with the nagging feeling that things aren’t quite right lingering in the background. When Real Estate bring some urgency to these sentiments, they connect: “It’s Real” looks for a way out of this lower-case sadness with extra poignancy; “Green Aisles” envisions suburban tracts as a giant supermarket; “Out of Tune” could be a theme song for perennial misfits; and the previously mentioned “All the Same” expresses its feigned indifference with riffs and rhythms worn at a jaunty angle. However, too much of Days just goes by in a pretty, but not especially memorable, blur; an affable shrug of an album, it’s fine, but that’s not necessarily OK.

tags: real estate, days, 2011, flac,

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