Real Estate are certainly the closest incarnation of Pearl Jam and Eddie Vedder’s classic line: “I changed by not changing at all.” Over the years and various line-up changes, the New Jersey band remain faithful to their iconic jangling sound. Whatever comes along, there is no way their tunes wouldn’t sound like riding a bike on a suburban sidewalk in the sun, or playing ball on a beach with the golden light of sunset hitting the shades’ mirrored lenses.
In Mind, their fourth album, makes no exception. Except it kinda does. Keeping up with the crescendo of the previous three albums, In Mind maintains the same colour of its predecessors, but the psychedelic palette is now more nuanced and way less monochromatic. Guitars still jangle and vocals keep their reverbs, but the sound gains a new multidimensional shape that was missing in the past. The mix is clearer, the outlines more defined, preventing the tints from melding into a colourless stain to be passed off as abstract art.
Synths peep out surprisingly here and there, as in the opener Darling or, later, in Holding Pattern – the latter being one of the best songs in the album, with its Pacific Coast Highway atmosphere, perfectly followed by the tropical aura of Time’s Upbeat and Diamond Eyes.
And that’s not even mentioning the closing Saturday, with an astonishing grand piano introducing the track; it could be easily labelled as ‘Abbey Road Medley meets R.E.M.” but, truth is, it’s just classic Real Estate. And it’s awesome.