The Bees – Every Step’s a Yes The Bees – Every Step’s a Yes

The Bees — Every Step's a Yes

The Bees — Every Step's a Yes

The Bees have always taken a bit of a retro approach to their indie rock, but Every Step’s a Yes takes that to an exciting end. This is a veritable marriage of some of the 1970s musically strongest points, with folk, progressive rock, R&B, and soul all given a proper turn. It feels almost a conglomerate of the era, with lush instrumentation and vocal harmonies combining with psychedelic approaches to create an evocative release.

The pitfalls and bugbears of the era’s music are largely absent — if this were a historical accounting, The Bees would be accused of wearing glasses far too rose-tinted. Some of the best moments would slot in perfectly in the same bin as 1970s classics, even if The Bees are not quite as timeless or unforgettable as the greats. This isn’t the stuff the biggest movers and shakers are made of — that’s altogether more rare — but it’s of unmistakable quality, despite the lack of anything genuinely new.

Every Step’s a Yes deals in the vocal harmonies of days gone by but retains a distinctly fresh aesthetic. Somehow, it doesn’t much succumb to feeling like a band simply putting its roots and influences at the front; instead, The Bees come off as a cultured outfit who have a real musical understanding. They’ve crafted something that feels simultaneously antiquated and original — it’s all a sign of a real, intuitive approach that’s hard to replicate, for which The Bees are to be lauded.

There’s hardly a regrettable moment here, but some tracks are clearly greater successes than others: The first few tracks are just excellent, with the opener, “I Really Need Love,” providing some fantastical sitar, “Winter Rose” offering a little bit of reggae to the mix, and “Silver Line” spotlighting some vocals that feel as if they’ve been hoisted from the epoch of Simon & Garfunkel.

The rest of the LP is packed with some great moments, but none come off quite as well as those first three tracks. Every Step’s a Yes suffers a bit from the contrast between a strong beginning and a weakened ending, but it’s more than passable for what it does well. The Bees operate in a manner that’s not backward-looking despite the retro outlook, and that’s a real feat.

The Bees - Every Step's a Yes , reviewed by Matthew Montgomery on 2011-02-01T16:44:22-08:00 rating 3.9 out of 5

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