Friday, 3 February 2012

The 2kDozen 500: #44 - The 2 Bears, "Be Strong"

Ah, yeah! This House revival is going places now. Back into the past. Bring on the First Winter of Love!

I'm also big fan of Hot Chip. "The Warning" is one of my most toppingest albums of all time. Joe Goddard seems a solid bloke as well - in more ways than one. (I refer to his burliness, stealthily and with great comic effect.)

Tongues are wedged wittily in the back of my mind. Ataris and Roland 808s for goalposts. "Bear Hug" sounds as though it has tumbled from yellow Smiley skies, acid rain straight out of 1988. The title track is a list tune - you don't get any more 1989 than a list song, eh Billy Joel? I'm looking at you, The Beloved. Some artists that would make my list - Todd Terry! The KLF! The Art of Noise! And the rumbling, pitch-altered voice could be straight off Shut Up And Dance's "The Bouncer".

"Warm & Easy" sets a summer scene of "Computer Love on the stereo" with "Test Matches on the radio", which beats Will Smith's idea of summertime to all Hell. I can't think of the last album I heard that was so unequivocally positive and affirmative and permissive. "Take A Look Around" lists out a whole stream of behaviour that is alright with them "if you want to" - and not in a Rihanna, bend-me-over-the-desk-why-don't-you kind of way. "Ghosts & Zombies" has some delicious, chewy bassline going on to draw the miserable undead outside on into the party.

I lack the technological vocabulary, so I can only describe the sound of "Increase Your Faith" as ZX Spectrummy. "Heart of the Congos" has a nice little parp of wobbly brass running through it. (And is also another great album.) "Church" has organ. Of course. And steel pans.

"I love your pretty face/And your tough determination/I love your body too/Let's mate and make a nation."

It may get a little tired with repeated listenings, as the four-to-the-floor is pretty relentless, cheerfully driving the good vibes and maybe choosing to ignore the greyness inside and out. And it's not quite as poignant as when Hot Chip really got their man/boy mojo working. But two furry ursine thumbs up.


Rating: Jacking out of Winter Blues

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