Teens of Denial

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Teens of Denial
Teens of Denial Car Seat Headrest.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 20, 2016
GenreIndie rock
Length70:07
LabelMatador
ProducerSteve Fisk
Car Seat Headrest chronology
Teens of Style
(2015)
Teens of Denial
(2016)
Twin Fantasy (Face to Face)
(2018)
Singles from Teens of Denial
  1. "Vincent"
    Released: February 23, 2016
  2. "Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales"
    Released: March 24, 2016
  3. "Fill in the Blank"
    Released: April 11, 2016
  4. "Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales (Reworked Single Version)"
    Released: December 2, 2016

Teens of Denial is the tenth studio album by American indie rock band Car Seat Headrest. It was released on May 20, 2016 via Matador Records, serving as the band's second album for the label and the first to consist of newly written material.

Background[edit]

Writing for Teens of Denial began in 2013, shortly after the release of Nervous Young Man. Due to the previous album's length and complexity, lead singer/songwriter Will Toledo decided to focus on writing music that was more straight-forward and easier to perform live.[1] In an interview with Uproxx, Toledo noted that it took two years to finish writing the album, as he wanted the songs to flow together coherently. Outtakes from this period were released on the 2014 EP, How to Leave Town.[2]

Release[edit]

In a November 2015 interview with Billboard, Car Seat Headrest frontman Will Toledo stated that the band's 2015 album Teens of Style would be followed by Teens of Denial, which he indicated would be their first to feature an outside producer and a "totally different" sound.[3] On February 23, 2016, the lead single from Teens of Denial, "Vincent", was released, along with an accompanying music video.[4] On March 24, Toledo announced a May 20 release date for the album and premiered one of its tracks, "Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales".[5]

Recall[edit]

On May 13, 2016, Matador Records recalled the entire initial compact disc and vinyl print runs of the album following the denial of permission to use lyrics from the Cars' "Just What I Needed" in the song "Just What I Needed/Not Just What I Needed".[6] It was the first time in the label's history that they had recalled a record.[7] The recalled copies were destroyed in the label's warehouse using a garbage truck compactor.[7]

Car Seat Headrest and Matador Records had believed that they had secured the proper approval from the Cars' publisher to include the interpolation of "Just What I Needed" in "Just What I Needed/Not Just What I Needed" and had moved forward with pressing copies of Teens of Denial with the song.[7] However, on May 10, 2016, Cars singer and songwriter Ric Ocasek denied permission to use elements of "Just What I Needed" after discovering that Toledo had changed a single line from the original lyrics.[7]

Toledo recorded a new version of the song, titled "Not What I Needed", which removed the elements from "Just What I Needed" and was inserted in the revised track list of the album.[8] The digital release of Teens of Denial was unaffected by the recall and included the new song, but the physical release was delayed until July.[7]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic86/100[9]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[10]
The Austin Chronicle5/5 stars[11]
The A.V. ClubA[12]
Mojo4/5 stars[13]
NME4/5[14]
Pitchfork8.5/10[15]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[16]
Spin7/10[17]
Uncut8/10[18]
ViceA[19]

Teens of Denial holds a score of 86 out of 100 on the online review aggregate site Metacritic, indicating "universal acclaim".[9] David Brusie of The A.V. Club wrote that the repeated "exercise in tension and release" throughout the record "is essential to Teens of Denial's blistering greatness", concluding that "Toledo seems to be saying, buckle in; I'm taking you somewhere exciting. Trust him."[12] Mark Deming of AllMusic found "real and powerful wit" in the album's songs and stated that Toledo "has created something like a novel after previously offering us short stories, and it's a piece of rough-hewn brilliance."[10] Jeremy Gordon of Pitchfork noted that "even with the bigger budget and brighter environs, Toledo's underriding DIY sensibility comes through."[15] NME critic Alex Flood called Teens of Denial "the work of a precocious talent."[14]

Accolades[edit]

Publication Accolade Year Rank Ref.
American Songwriter Top 50 Albums of 2016 2016
36
The A.V. Club The A.V. Club's Top 50 Albums of 2016 2016
19
Consequence of Sound Top 50 Albums of 2016 2016
18
NME NME's Albums of the Year 2016 2016
45
Mojo The 50 Best Albums of 2016 2016
24
Paste 50 Best Albums of 2016 2016
3
Pitchfork The 20 Best Rock Albums of 2016 2016 N/A
Pitchfork The 50 Best Albums of 2016 2016
24
Rolling Stone 50 Best Albums of 2016 2016
4
Rough Trade Albums of the Year 2016
10
The Skinny Top 50 Albums of 2016 2016
12
Stereogum The 50 Best Albums of 2016 2016
11

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Will Toledo.

No.TitleLength
1."Fill in the Blank"4:04
2."Vincent"7:45
3."Destroyed by Hippie Powers"5:03
4."(Joe Gets Kicked out of School for Using) Drugs with Friends (But Says This Isn't a Problem)"5:37
5."Not What I Needed"4:31
6."Drunk Drivers / Killer Whales"6:14
7."1937 State Park"4:00
8."Unforgiving Girl (She's Not An)"5:26
9."Cosmic Hero"8:31
10."The Ballad of the Costa Concordia" (contains lyrics and elements of the song "White Flag", written by Florian Armstrong, Rollo Armstrong and Rick Nowels)11:30
11."Connect the Dots (The Saga of Frank Sinatra)"6:07
12."Joe Goes to School"1:19
Total length:70:07

Personnel[edit]

Car Seat Headrest

  • Will Toledo – vocals, guitars, organ, piano, Mellotron
  • Ethan Ives – bass, vocals, guitars, vibrato switch on organ
  • Andrew Katz – drums, mixed percussion, Mellotron, vocals
  • Seth Dalby – bass (track 8)

Additional musicians

  • Jon Maus – trumpets and trombone (tracks 2, 9, 10)
  • Nick Shadel – piano (track 10)
  • Jim Dejoie – saxophone (track 11)

Production

  • Steve Fisk – production
  • Gordon S. Fisk – back cover photograph
  • Mike Zimmerman – cover layout, design

Charts[edit]

Chart (2016) Peak
position
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[33] 121
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[34] 82
UK Albums (OCC)[35] 198
US Billboard 200[36] 180
US Heatseekers Albums (Billboard)[37] 3
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[38] 15
US Top Alternative Albums (Billboard)[39] 16
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[40] 22

References[edit]

  1. ^ "r/indieheads - I'm the band "Car Seat Headrest" AMA". reddit. Retrieved 2018-11-22.
  2. ^ "A Guide To All Of Car Seat Headrest's Pre-Fame Albums (All 11 Of Them)". UPROXX. 2016-10-28. Retrieved 2018-11-22.
  3. ^ Payne, Chris (November 4, 2015). "New Noise: Car Seat Headrest Is a Bandcamp Cult Hero on to Something Big". Billboard. Retrieved May 24, 2016.
  4. ^ Boilen, Bob (February 23, 2016). "Car Seat Headrest Blasts Off With The Brilliant 'Vincent'". NPR. Retrieved May 24, 2016.
  5. ^ Brennan, Collin (March 24, 2016). "Car Seat Headrest announces new album, Teens of Denial, shares "Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales" — listen". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved May 24, 2016.
  6. ^ Gordon, Jeremy. "Car Seat Headrest LPs Destroyed Because Ric Ocasek Wouldn't Authorize a Cars Sample | Pitchfork". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  7. ^ a b c d e Jurgensen, John (1 June 2016). "Why a Record Label Crushed a Batch of Vinyl Records". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  8. ^ Reilly, Dan. "How Car Seat Headrest Wrote His Fraught, Least-Favorite New Song, 'Not What I Needed'". Vulture. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  9. ^ a b "Reviews for Teens of Denial by Car Seat Headrest". Metacritic. Retrieved May 23, 2016.
  10. ^ a b Deming, Mark. "Teens of Denial – Car Seat Headrest". AllMusic. Retrieved May 23, 2016.
  11. ^ Webster, Libby (August 12, 2016). "Car Seat Headrest". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved August 12, 2016.
  12. ^ a b Brusie, David (May 20, 2016). "On Teens Of Denial, Car Seat Headrest dares you to buckle in—and you should". The A.V. Club. Retrieved May 23, 2016.
  13. ^ Myers, Ben (June 2016). "Car Seat Headrest: Teens of Denial". Mojo (271): 92.
  14. ^ a b Flood, Alex (May 25, 2016). "Car Seat Headrest – 'Teens Of Denial' Review". NME. Archived from the original on September 23, 2016. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  15. ^ a b Gordon, Jeremy (May 20, 2016). "Car Seat Headrest: Teens of Denial". Pitchfork. Retrieved May 23, 2016.
  16. ^ Hermes, Will (May 25, 2016). "Teens of Denial". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  17. ^ Unterberger, Andrew (May 20, 2016). "Review: This Is a Long Drive for Car Seat Headrest on 'Teens of Denial'". Spin. Retrieved May 23, 2016.
  18. ^ O'Connell, Sharon (July 2016). "Car Seat Headrest: Teens of Denial". Uncut (230): 70.
  19. ^ Christgau, Robert (July 8, 2016). "Car Seat Headrest, The Julie Ruin, and Drugs: Expert Witness with Robert Christgau". Vice. Retrieved July 8, 2016.
  20. ^ "American Songwriter's Top 50 Albums of 2016". American Songwriter. December 1, 2016. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  21. ^ "The A.V. Club's Top 50 Albums of 2016". The A.V. Club. December 12, 2016. Retrieved December 12, 2016.
  22. ^ "Top 50 Albums of 2016". Consequence of Sound. November 28, 2016. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
  23. ^ "NME's Albums of the Year 2016". NME. November 24, 2016. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
  24. ^ "The 50 Best Albums of 2016". Mojo. November 22, 2016. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
  25. ^ "50 Best Albums of 2016". Paste Magazine. November 30, 2016. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  26. ^ "The 20 Best Rock Albums of 2016". Pitchfork. December 7, 2016. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  27. ^ "The 50 Best Albums of 2016". Pitchfork. December 13, 2016. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
  28. ^ "50 Best Albums of 2016". Rolling Stone. November 29, 2016. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
  29. ^ "Albums of the Year". Rough Trade. November 14, 2016. Archived from the original on November 16, 2016. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
  30. ^ "Top 50 Albums of 2016". The Skinny. December 1, 2016. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  31. ^ "The 50 Best Albums of 2016". Stereogum. December 1, 2016. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  32. ^ "Teens Of Denial". Hostess Entertainment. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  33. ^ "Ultratop.be – Car Seat Headrest – Teens of Denial" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved September 2, 2016.
  34. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Car Seat Headrest – Teens of Denial" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved July 15, 2016.
  35. ^ Chart Log UK: "CLUK Update 16.07.2016 (wk28)". UK Albums Chart. Zobbel.de. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
  36. ^ "Car Seat Headrest Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  37. ^ "Car Seat Headrest Chart History (Heatseekers Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  38. ^ "Car Seat Headrest Chart History (Independent Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  39. ^ "Car Seat Headrest Chart History (Top Alternative Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  40. ^ "Car Seat Headrest Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved July 1, 2016.