Monday 14 Jul
 
 

Next big thing

As far as songs go, few prove as challenging to sing as our national anthem.

It’s a technically demanding tune from first note to last, to be sure, beginning with a low bellow that quickly soars toward star-punching high notes, eventually swelling to a show-stopping crescendo that even the most seasoned performer can have trouble mastering.

07/09/2014 | Comments 0

Sheriff Woody

Woody Guthrie Folk Festival featuring Jimmy LaFave, Arlo Guthrie and more

Wednesday through Sunday

Okemah

woodyguthrie.com

Free

07/09/2014 | Comments 0

California dreamin’

Modern Pantheist with The Wurly Birds and Larry Chin

9 p.m. Sunday

Blue Note Lounge 

2408 N. Robinson Ave.

thebluenotelounge.com

600-1166

$5

07/02/2014 | Comments 0

Major League tunes

Chipper Jones with The Hitt Boyz, Foxburrows and Milk Jr

8 p.m. Saturday

VZD’s Restaurant & Club

4200 N. Western Ave.

vzds.com

524-4200

07/02/2014 | Comments 0

Neon colors

Utah-based rockers Neon Trees spent a hot summer night setting fire to Tulsa’s legendary Cain’s Ballroom on June 19. Rounding out the aural palette were Smallpools, a lively L.A. powerhouse, and Nightmare and the Cat, a cadre of black-clad Brit/American alt-rockers. Neon Trees’ latest record, Pop Psychology, was the night’s flux capacitor, transporting all who were willing to a neon-soaked parallel universe.
06/25/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Reviews · Electronica · The 2 Bears — Be...
Electronica
 

The 2 Bears — Be Strong


‘Bear Hug’ is dangerous in the best way.

Jonathan Davis March 14th, 2012

Named for the fabulously hairy and rotund, The 2 Bears hail in part from the London DJ scene. This brash and unapologetic dance duo knows how to do one thing: Get you in their paws and never let go.

the2bearsbestrong

Hot Chip backup vocalist and synthesizer-er Joe Goddard started The 2 Bears with Raf Rundell in 2009. Their debut, Be Strong, offers a unique variety of styles ranging from dance to pop to country, all segued by the subtlest of transitions. It's an impressive balancing act, one which maintains the attention of the listener without overwhelming with gaudy politics or elaborate crescendos.

This record’s strengths lie in its two singles, "Work" and "Bear Hug." The former reveals Goddard's ability with the keys, pounding away with an optimistic hook and hackle; "We gonna work / Work harder / For each other / For the future."

The Bears play catch from verse to chorus and back, allowing Rundell some time to shine in this song, but his true talent is in his habitual talk-singing, featured most prominently on my favorite track, which — you may have guessed — is “Bear Hug.” It's as trance as dance can be, and so hypnotic, it's addictive. My library counted this song played 75 times – the numerous remixes omitted – but this infectious minimalism isn't for everyone; see for yourself in the video below.

For its riotous first act, Be Strong is remarkably cynical in the late game. Contemplations of mortality, regret and the pursuits of the heart season the back half, and although the content feels less prime, the playful sincerity of The 2 Bears serves to fill out the raw bits.

Be Strong holds the rather unremarkable status of being my favorite record of 2012; however, I hold some confidence that come December, I'll still be happy to have a “Bear Hug.”


 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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