Second albums from young bands are often such pivotal events that for decades music critics have coined them “sophomore” albums and even given them special mention. Second albums just seem to have their own place in music history, especially if the band’s first album was really good. (Dare I say that Real Estate’s 2009 debut had a tiny hint of The Stone Roses now-legendary debut album?)
So what kind of listen is Real Estate’s 2011 second album “Days?” Well, as far as second albums go, “Days” is one of the better I can recall. It’s a tranquil and easy going affair like fans would expect, but more polished than the band’s first outing. After a successful first album, it’s important to improve upon the formula (or at least not screw it up). Real Estate confidently passes that test, but builds on their sound with an incremental level of refinement and better production without screwing up the sparse, jangly quality of the first set.
From the opener “Easy” to the comparatively commercial sounding “It’s Real,” “Days” is a step up from the first album. Again, better production and better arrangements keep things moving forward. Interestingly, a group known for lyrics sneaks in a nice little instrumental called “Kinder Blumen.” Other favorites include “Out of Tune” and “Three Blocks.”
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