Missed Music

Music you didn’t know you needed…until now.

Smart, carefully crafted pop from Minus the Bear

Minus the Bear was a library find for me. I was strolling through the Ms, and the both the name of the band and the name of the album caught my attention. (It has been said the band’s name comes from an inside joke about the 80s TV show B.J. and the Bear. Ahem.) Minus the Bear plays sophisticated pop with a bit of an indie influence. They remind me a bit of vintage Alan Parsons, partly because of Jake Snider’s breathy alto, but partly because the songs are smart, well-constructed, and feature a lot of keyboards.

You can take musicians out of junior high, but...

The album I picked up was “Planet of Ice.” I always love it when I pick up something cold with no idea what might be on it and discover something this good. The album has some slow spots, but it also has some outstanding pop. Check out my 3 favorites.

  • Burying Luck – I like the vocal contrast they choose in this song. Jake Snider can hit every note sweetly, but chose to scream the high ones some of the time. There is good keyboard work on this track too.
  • White Mystery – Follow this link to check out the lyrics or just listen, since he sings clearly. Now that’s a love song.
  • When We Escape – This is just a solid pop song with a little bit of an indie feel. It’s complex and varied enough to hold your interest without challenging the ear too much.

Minus the Bear released 2 albums before “Planet of Ice.” I won’t get much into those today, but check out a single from each.

  • Guns & Ammo – This is from “Acoustics” and might be my favorite Minus the Bear song. Might be. Cool lyrics and a beautiful melody.
  • El Torrente – This one is from “Menos El Oso.” The guitar work on this track is alternately ambient and biting and the keys do some cool stuff.

I read today that Minus the Bear has recorded a new album and put out a single on iTunes called ‘Into the Mirror,’ but I haven’t heard it yet. The album is due in April of this year so I’m looking forward to that.



January 27, 2010 - Posted by | Indie, Popular, Rock

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