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Album Review: Bear In Heaven

11 April 2012 | 1:32 pm | Brendan Telford

Not that any of this is bad by any stretch of the imagination – Bear In Heaven’s coup is the juxtaposition of originality and familiarity – it merely becomes a soundscape rather than a suite of discernible songs.

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Brooklyn's Bear In Heaven really hit their straps with their 2010 sophomore effort Beast Rest Forth Mouth, an album that saw them grace the world with their celestial disco-synth presence. Recorded in the summer of 2011, follow-up offering I Love You It's Cool doesn't veer too far away from the aesthetics that have made them who they are today, whilst attempting to mess with the formula just enough to widen their horizons.

Opener Idle Heart is the blueprint of Bear In Heaven 101 – Kraftwerk-lite rhythms held in check by drummer Joe Stickney's preciseness and elevated by Jon Philpot's graceful tenor. Single The Reflection Of You is typically upbeat, an '80s synth cavalcade that is the perfect collision of Pet Shop Boys and M83. Further along in the mix is the lo-fi glitch of Sinful Nature, a menacing burble that mirrors The Smiths circa How Soon Is Now?, whilst Space Remains offers an intense kaleidoscope of beats and tones that is in turns chaotic and energising.

That said, much of what makes up the rest of I Love You It's Cool melds together, becoming an indistinguishable mesh of sound and colour. Not that any of this is bad by any stretch of the imagination – Bear In Heaven's coup is the juxtaposition of originality and familiarity – it merely becomes a soundscape rather than a suite of discernible songs.

A good album then, yet somehow not quite the great album they clearly have fermenting inside of them.

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