Grizzly Bear - "Shields"

If you’re a fan of the Block Party (weeknights from 8pm-12am EST) on 91.3fm, each month we feature one of the artists featured on the Block Party as an Album of the Month with a New or Renewing Membership to WYEP. The Block Party Featured Album is available in CD format for a $60 donation to WYEP or on vinyl for your gift of $75.

November's Block Party Featured Album of the Month is Shields by Grizzly Bear. Become a WYEP Member at wyep.org and grab a copy as your thank you gift this month.

When Grizzly Bear’s Veckatimest was released in 2009, it was hailed as one of the best independent rock albums of the year and instantly shot the band to fame. Since there is the immediate pressure of being compared to something so incredibly high, it can be tricky for a band to do well after such success.

It became increasingly clear as I listened to this album that Veckatimest wasn’t even close to the bands peak - Grizzly Bear created Shields with symphonic undertones, smooth voices, and riveting composition as it leads the listener through a plethora of emotions that run along the lines of unsuccessful relationships, loss, despair, and the eventual realization that moving forward, without looking back, is the only path to take.

This album is a bottle of negative fizzy emotions that was shaken up until it burst and what comes out is a mix of fear, regret, anxiety, pain, suffering, and regression. Shieldsis ironically about exposure. All of this hurt has come from letting your guard down and each song symbolizes figuring out how to pull it back up to achieve some level of normalcy. Each emotion calls for a different solution but when it’s all thrown together, taking it in stride and not looking back is the only way to clean up the mess.

Shieldsis beautifully put together. The lyrics are hard hitting and subtle at the same time. The combination of orchestral and rock styling creates a masterpiece that will leave you wanting more. It’s more than music; it’s a carefully crafted sound, strategically placed in an order to bring out its full beauty and potential.

- Review by Jessica Willard, WYEP Host