REAL ESTATE – ” The Main Thing “

Posted: November 27, 2020 in CLASSIC ALBUMS, MUSIC
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Real Estate

Real Estate were breezy right from the start but have mellowed further with every record. The Main Thing, is the band’s fifth album, is their most settled yet. Also one of their most enjoyable. This is Real Estate’s second album with Julian Lynch as the group’s other guitarist, alongside frontman Martin Courtney, and everything feels comfortable if thankfully not quite predictable. Keyboardist Matthew Kallman’s presence is increased, with swirling synthesizers intertwining with the rippling guitar leads, and Jackson Pollis is credited not just with drums but drum programming. In that way, there’s an added emphasis on rhythm and groove, with Alex Bleeker’s basslines more fluid than they’ve ever been before. The album opens with “Friday,” a song whose oceanic synths and rolling basslines are closer to Air or Zero 7 than The Grateful Dead or The Feelies, and it’s not the only soft rock touch here. That leads directly into “Paper Cup” which, with sweeping strings, bongos and a fat keyboard lead dueling with the guitars, is just a Michael McDonald backup vocal away from being full-on yacht rock. No Doobie Brothers in earshot, but Sylvan Esso’s Amelia Meath does provide lovely background vocals.


The rest of The Main Thing is in more familiar Real Estate territory, and quality remains high. “You” is an instant classic, and the title track is nearly as appealing with a soaring, compact guitar solo that actually leaves you wanting more. Courtney and Lynch stretch out and peel off some jammier leads on “Also A But” and a few other tracks, but for the most part keep things, tight, bright and just a little wistful. As for the album’s title, it was partially inspired by Roxy Music’s song of the same name and more specifically about how doing the thing you love is your true path. Which, in the case of this band, is writing super catchy guitar pop. To that end Real Estate are wildly succeeding.

Released February 28th, 2020

2020, Domino Recording Co Ltd

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