Real Estate, 'Real Estate' (Woodsist)

Critical Mass
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by Abigail Everdell

As evidenced by song titles like "Pool Swimmers" and "Let's Rock the Beach," New Jersey–based foursome Real Estate traffic in placid, self-consciously coastal summertime jams. Even when frontman Martin Courtney moves beyond the ocean-side themes to reminisce dreamily about his suburban hometown ("Carry me / Back to sweet Jersey," he pleads at one point), the music's trembling guitar plinks and muffled percussion create a languid, sun-blanched mood. The relaxed, repetitive melodies are certainly pleasant, but when a group's template is this familiar and undemanding, congeniality isn't much of an achievement.

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