Album Review // Bethany Cosentino // Natural Disaster
Do you happen to love Best Coast and Liz Phair and Kacey Musgraves? Though the millennial/Gen X generation gap doesn't exactly line up, perhaps you've been meaning to check one of them out. Either way, do I have an album for you. Natural Disaster is the debut solo album from Bethany Cosentino, longtime leader of the duo Best Coast (sorry, Bobb!). This album finds the thirtysomething Californian abandoning the layered shoegaze and pop-punk of Best Coast's glory days for a mostly clean and chiming acoustic guitar tone and upbeat tempos.
For longtime Best Coast fans, this musical transition to a more mature and accessible sound comes as little surprise. While there's a strong pop and country influence throughout, between the instrumentation, frankly sardonic lyricism, and actual vocal timbre, Cosentino has done a remarkable job channeling an Exile in Guyville-era Liz Phair. Since that happens to be one of the greatest albums ever made, that's no bad thing at all. Cosentino's snarky soprano glows in each of these dozen tracks, and thankfully her personality shines through. Her expert ability at hook-crafting is working overtime, with some fundamentally catchy phrases in every track.