Lightness. This is what I felt while listening to Real Estate’s latest LP In Mind. All of the songs you can find there are pleasantly easy-listening, but not overly simplistic. Guitars have bright, clean tone, just like every other instrument. Everything fits perfectly. Just like a perfectly nice album. An LP-next-door. It’s just a pity that In Mind feels a little bit to monotonous, too revealing, too shallow. Bright, light, clear, yet see-through album.
Still, I have to admit, In Mind is very imaginative, and thought-through LP. Worthy of a band with three great albums in their discography. Their fourth may not add much, but tracks like Darling or Stained Glass shows their signature sound and a lot of potential in entertaining, sometimes even whimsical songwriting. I bet they’re just having fun.
And when it comes to songwriting, I have to mention nearly 7-minute power-pop, The Beach Boys-y ballad Two Arrows, which brings Real Estate and In Mind into psychedelic trans extravaganza. This is what I’d like to hear more. Bigger form. I’d like to see Real Estate spread their wings, to experiment with the brightness of pop music, to try to bend its boundaries like they did here. It’s nothing new (in general or for Real Esate), but it works so perfectly here.
I was hoping that there will be more structural approach on In Mind, which will result in the grand finale continuation of Two Arrows like All The Same from Days, or Dumb Luck from Reality, or extremely impressive (but very lo-fi…) three-song ending of their debut LP. Nevertheless, Saturday is not what I had in mind, but even though it lacks the greatness of LP’s longest track, it’s a magnificent closer, which fits perfectly. And that’s what most important.
In Mind is a wonderfully bright and light album, which simply lacks diversification. You can hear that breakthrough in Two Arrows, but then again it comes back to the classic Real Estate style. And that’s not bad at all. Songwriting is great, imaginative, creative, while maintaining its easy-listening power-pop quality. I’m aware that it’s not a magnificent artistic achievement, but I have a great sentiment for this band as well as for this kind of music, so I think this LP will remain in my playlist for a really long time. Maybe even as one of my favorite albums of this year. Not the best, but favorite.