Department of Eagles | In Ear Park

4AD (2008)
By RYAN STEWART  |  October 21, 2008
3.5 3.5 Stars
Rare is the side project that outstrips the better-known band, but Dan Rossen, one of the main men of Grizzly Bear, does just that with his “other band,” Department of Eagles. In Ear Park improves on Grizzly Bear’s psychedelic folk æsthetic by both fleshing it out and making it more accessible. The orchestrated arrangements are impeccable, and the Beatles/Beach Boys–ian pop melodies are great. Rossen’s aching tenor conveys genuine sadness and yearning in “Phantom Other” and “Herring Bone”; the piano, harp, and cello on “Teenagers” create a pleasantly airy vibe. The clear standout, though, is the lead single, “No One Does It like You,” which trundles along with rattling percussion, hollow vocal harmonies, and staccato, overly reverbed guitars. Rossen sounds especially haunting and beautiful here, singing “I try so hard.” Nothing against Grizzly Bear, but I wouldn’t complain if this were all he did from now on.
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