The difficulty for Bear in Heaven with I Love You, It’s Cool is how do they push beyond the limitations they placed on themselves by creating a brilliant first album, Beast Rest Forth Mouth? Surely, they were aware of the difficult task ahead of them when going into the studio, which probably only increases the anxiety of making a record. But, luckily, they’ve come out on top, crafting an album of electronic pop songs that if anything, only increases their accessibility, guaranteeing them further success.
For me, album opener “Idle Heart” is the perfect identity statement by the group, delving into a sort of electronic wash for nearly a minute, shortly before the lyrics open up the melody. There’s a particular brightness that lurks beneath the surface of the track, providing them with the ability to reach a new, larger audience. It’s the sentiment one expects a band to make upon their return to the indie limelight with I Love You, It’s Cool. They continue in the vein of bright electronic-pop with the following track, “The Reflection of You.” This is perhaps one of the standout tracks on the album, but it’s also a reminder at 4.5 minutes (more or less) that pop songs can be drawn out, furthering the emotional release for the listener.
When Bear in Heaven pull out the pop stops in a song like “Sinful Nature,” it becomes evident that the group has evolved into something entirely different from their previous affair. Driving synthesizers propel the melody, but there’s this wash atop it all, sort of reminiscent of Republic era New Order. It makes almost every song perfect for the dance floor–or wherever you choose to shake it. However, they still mix in some varying sounds, making this more than just your run of the mill dance record.
On “Kiss Me Crazy” there’s flirtations with negative space within the song, almost from the opening moment, especially when you fit in the drumming. At times the percussion doesn’t fit the tempo of the track at all, yet it falls precisely into place when looked at from afar. Another song on I Love You, It’s Cool that helps further this idea is “Space Remains.” It’s perhaps one of the grittier tracks on the record, reminding you of the band’s earlier work; it has elements of electronic noise covering an inherent danceability. And, by placing it near the end of the collection, it also serves to break up the monotony one can find in long electronic albums.
Bear in Heaven don’t seem to be breaking any new ground with this record, but they seem to be evolving on their own merit. I Love You, It’s Cool will remind listeners and fans that the band are definitely one of the premier electronic acts trucking about the world today. They’ve definitely got their own musical concept (and a visual one live!), and you’ve got to credit them for sticking to their guns, pushing ahead, and giving us another killer collection of songs we’ll play for some time.
Download:Bear in Heaven – The Reflection of You [MP3]