Throughout Once We Were Trees, the sophomore release from the Beachwood Sparks on Sub Pop Records, the SoCal indie cowboys deliver an album displaying astounding musical, songwriting, and repertory growth from their critically acclaimed self-titled debut. Previously, the Beachwood Sparks were labeled a retro extension of the late-'60s country-rock icons Buffalo Springfield and the Flying Burrito Brothers. On Once We Were Trees, the Beachwood Sparks prove themselves as one of the most exciting subgenre leaders in the current indie rock world. The mid-tempo groove of "The Sun Surrounds Me" illustrates the songwriting growth the Sparks have achieved in the last three years, followed by the somewhat campy yet cool "You Take the Gold," which reverts to a simple carefree singalong melody and guitar-driven hook. One notable track is a revamped version of the adult contemporary Sade hit "By Your Side," which stands as the album's "must listen" track.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Matt Reasor