Even before listening to Zebra, the opening song off Beach House’s third album, the similarities with Grizzly Bear are evident. They have toured together, enthused about each others’ recorded output , and last year, Beach House vocalist Victoria Legrand was a guest on the phenomenal track Two Weeks from the acclaimed Veckatimest.

It is inevitable that the two bands will be compared. Indeed the first track here, Zebra, holds an incredibly similar sound to All We Ask. This game of spot the difference could last quite a while. They even share a producer in the form of Chris Coady. But Beach House deserve much more than mere attribution credit. They merit being judged entirely on the beauty of Teen Dream.

For, make no mistake, Teen Dream may well be the album to beat this year in terms of pure, unadulterated musical beauty. Much like Animal Collective (warning: more band comparisons ahead) released an astounding album right at the start of 2009, so Beach House do at the start of this year.

Following in the footsteps of heir eponymous début, and 2006’s Devotion, Teen Dream will surely elevate them into the heart of the music world much like Merriweather Post Pavillion did to Animal Collective.

Zebra acts as the perfect opening to Teen Dream easing us into a world of reassurance and love. ‘Don’t I know you better than the rest?’ Gentle, repetitive guitar and simple drums lull us into a dream, and much as it is difficult to escape the Grizzly Bear references, it is also difficult not to associate Beach House with a dream –like existence. It sounds as if they woke up one morning and recorded what happened in their unconscious state.

This feeling continues with Silver Soul which steals AC’s penchant for sampling lapping water. Victoria’s androgynous vocals lend a certain timeless quality to the whole affair. In a time when most females singers seem to be emulating Lady Gaga and/or Amy Winehouse it is genuinely refreshing to hear vocals which fail to be classed in terms of something that has gone before. Who knows, maybe in 2011, many female singers will want to sound like this niece of French composer, Michael Legrand.

There are numerous epic and grandiose moments throughout Teen Dream. Norway has a rousing chorus while Walk in the Park displays the fragile nature of the songwriting: ‘In a matter of time, it would slip from my mind/ In and out of my life, you would slip from my mind/ In a matter of time.’

Which all leads us to the centrepiece, Used To Be, which sounds like Fleet Foxes collaborating with Grizzly Bear. While Fleet Foxes manage to make it seem effortless, Grizzly Bear’s work sounds like it has been laboured on for years-which it has. So, Used To Be comes across like an effortless piece of laboured genius. Its carefree piano is irresistible and after this, the quality does not dip for a second.

Lover of Mine is the song that Nico wished she could have had all those years ago, while Ed Droste must be kicking himself for not asking Victoria for songwriting tips when she helped Grizzly Bear out last year.

10 Mile Stereo displays the love-is-boundless belief of the duo followed by Real Love which only confirms the fact that the Teen Dream is to settle down with someone you can share everything with even though finding that person is the difficult part: ‘I met you somewhere.’

Beach House save the best for last though. Take Care finishes the album in the most self-assured and delightful way possible. After finding love in the preceding songs, the protagonist vows to stay forever keeping the fire burning. Transforming into a doo-wop sway halfway in, Take Care fades into the distance comforting us with the knowledge that romance is not dead in the 21st Century.

Beach House have crafted a collection of songs that reward you constantly with further listening. After crafting their sound for the past few years, one can truly say that Teen Dream is the apotheosis of the work thus far. They deserve all the plaudits that fall their way. And Grizzly Bear will be first in line.

Beach House- Take Care