“Baby Say Goodbye,” Wavves. King of the Beach has an appealingly bratty quality, with Nathan Williams’ plaintive pipsqueak regularly dropping acid on those sunbaked Beach Boys harmonies. Brian Wilson is about as lazy a reference point you can pick these days, but some things in pop never grow old, and Williams borrows the best of those Surf City harmonies and modernizes them with production tricks learned from Animal Collective and others. It all comes together exactly once, on the album-closing suite “Baby Say Goodbye.” As bouncy and bright as July itself, the song surprises you by turning suddenly into an anthem, as Williams sings the title over and over again the way his forebears used to lament that God only knows. A song for the season if there ever was one.
(track via hamtunes)
It’s interesting that you would pick this as the one time when everything comes together, because this is one of the more frustrating tracks on the album for me precisely because it just barely misses building to perfection. The track absolutely is striving for an anthemic moment at its close, but it doesn’t get there because of how bland and emotionless Williams’ vocal sounds as he repeats the title again and again, leaving the backing vocals to do all the work. Obviously it’d be ridiculous to expect great displays of vocal prowess here, but there’s not enough feeling in the delivery to justify the lyrical build-up throughout the song (not that Wavves is alone in that problem, it bothers me about a lot of indie rock), and what should be a big finish is undermined by the continual “oh yeah”s until the end when letting the instrumental fully take over would’ve been a wiser choice. It’s still an enjoyable track, but I always hate when a song comes close to greatness and falls a little short.