Bear in Heaven – I Love You, It’s Cool

written by: March 16, 2012
Release Date: April 3, 2012


Bear in Heaven is a three-man experimental electronic outfit from Brooklyn. N.Y. They’ve been together since 2003, but their 2009 sophomore album, Beast Rest Forth Mouth, is the recording that put them on the map from which they received critical acclaim from several important music publications. Now three years after the band’s big break, Bear in Heaven has dropped its third major label release, I Love You, It’s Cool. As the album’s title implies, it is a pretty cool recording. Love might be a little too strong a word, though.

It’s difficult to perfectly describe what Bear in Heaven is all about, as the members’ fairly experimental sound contains a lot of contradictions: there are synths, but it isn’t electronica proper; the sound is often ethereal but not truly ambient; and the songs are fuzzy but still poppy. Actually, the best way to capture what’s going on throughout I Love You, It’s Cool might be to look at the instruments.

The main attraction here is the synths. Spacey, somewhat-distorted and ever-present, they dominate every song and give the entire album a sort of dreamy feeling. They’re slightly too ambient and have slightly too much static to be straight up poppy, but they’re still mostly fun and never get too harsh. Vocals aren’t overly flashy and stick farther back, washed out by the oceanic synthesizers. Finally, behind it all are the drums, which are kept mostly constant and very upbeat considering the hazy synths.

And even though the music is very heavily synth-driven, it’s actually those perky drums that really power the album along. They set a sort of chipper trot that makes the music really work. Any slower and the synths might become dreary, the straightforward vocals boring or tired. But because the drums are always pounding away, marching forward at a brisk pace, the songs pass quickly and seem fresher, faster and more interesting overall as a result. It’s good, it works and it stays consistent throughout the album.

If anyone is going to make a major complaint against I Love You, It’s Cool, it’s likely going to be that most of the songs are fairly similar, which makes it a great album to have on in the background as it never has any sort of mood whiplash, but it does mean that more intense listening sessions might not be as interesting.

However, the one time they do mix things up it ends up paying off really well: “Sweetness & Sickness,” the album’s six-minute closing track, is a little bit darker with hints of pounding bongos perfectly capturing the vibe of a seedy alleyway. It still keeps a moderately fast pace, but by striving to make something more edgy and less catchy, the band gives the song a depth that a lot of the others lack. The whole album passes pleasantly enough, but if there’s one track you’ll really want to return to, it’s going to be this one. Regardless of what you think of the rest of the album, at least this song is worth checking out.

All in all, I Love You, It’s Cool is a very solid effort from an interesting, new(ish) band. It might not make any end of the year “best of” lists, but it is a fun and enjoyable recording to just zone out to.

Bear in Heaven – I Love You, It’s Cool tracklist:

  1. “Idle Heart”
  2. “The Reflection of You”
  3. “Noon Moon”
  4. “Sinful Nature”
  5. “Cool Light”
  6. “Kiss Me Crazy”
  7. “World of Freakout”
  8. “Warm Water”
  9. “Space Remains”
  10. “Sweetness & Sickness”