KUMD Album Review: Real Estate-The Main Thing

Apr 17, 2020

Real Estate, the indie rock/dream pop band from New Jersey, is back with their latest album, The Main Thing, released February 28. With five albums spanning eleven years, Real Estate has proven themselves to be prolific and consistent.

The album opens with a funky, yet reserved track, "Friday". The highlight of the cut, nay, the album, is the expressive, tasteful drum performance by founding member Jackson Pollis. Building on the foundation of Pollis and bassist Alex Bleeker, many of the songs exude a sense of swaggering dance-ability, giving off the infectious energy of a toned-down Soul Train dance line. The band manages to sound referential to such predecessors as Hall and Oates or the Bee Gees, without sounding derivative or unambitious. Real Estate sounds like a band that has heard and understood the musical poetry of previous generations, and managed to avoid repeating history through their own creative sensibilities

In fact, the beauty of this album is its breadth of influence intertwining with its variety. At just under fifty-three minutes, this is the rare album in recent memory that has chosen to exceed thirty-five minutes. Lately for most artists, the length of a sitcom with commercials is enough time to please the streaming-era listener. However, Real Estate has enough tricks up their sleeve to capture the listeners attention, and hold it long enough to tell their story through song.

From low-key funk jams ("Paper Cup", "Friday"), to somber lo-fi ballads ("Gone," "Falling Down"), to early Beatles-reminiscent pop tunes ("You,"" November"), this album will likely have something for everybody. With their tried-and-true sturdy bass and guitar cohesion, straightforward optimistic vocals, and the occasional guitar solo, Real Estate has delivered an album worth replaying, perfect for an end-to-end listen, followed by a strong spot in the shuffle rotation.

Try this album if you like: Beach House, Men I Trust, Early Eyes, Clairo