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*Edging Borrowed Nostalgia Since September 2010*

ALBUM REVIEW: The 2 Bears - Be Strong

You know those albums that sound like a city? Well this is one of them. This is a London album, a confident and optimistic London album that channels all of the capital’s good vibes, and ignores the bad ones. The 2 Bears are Raphael Rundell and Joe Goddard (taking time out from his Hot Chip day job) and in ‘Be Strong’ they have produced a genre-mashing and unashamedly positive party record. It’s also very clearly an album made by two blokes who grew up clubbing in London the 90s. If you took the time to write down every single influence audible throughout its twelve tracks you’d end up with a who’s who of 90s British dance music. Oakenfold, Wetherall, The Beloved, Basement Jaxx, Leftfield… the list goes on. You can also hear echoes of Madness, The Streets and of course, Hot Chip. The album’s title track acts as an early statement of intent with Rundell singing “give the music all your loving” over a backdrop of soulful house, and from here on in that’s exactly what the Bears proceed to do. It’s practically a love letter to London’s dance floors, a chocolate box of classic and contemporary sound, all engulfed in one big bear hug. ‘Work’ is an uplifting pick me up that blends florescent rave with rallying cry vocals while the charming jailhouse lament of ‘Time in Mind’ sounds like Jona Lewie signing Johnny Cash. The album closes out with the wonderful ‘Church’ – a joyous finale of carnival drums and sunrise gospel. Like London at its best, Be Strong is an album of diversity and unity. The 2 Bears will get their paws round you and won’t let go until they’ve got you on the dance floor. Matthew Wright

NB: To stay abreast of Matt’s thoughts, you can follow him via his Twitter account.

Label: Southern Fried

Genre: Pop / Acid House

Rating: 8/10

 Standout Tracks: ’Be Strong’, ‘Time in Mind’, ‘Church’

Try this if you like: The Streets ‘Original Pirate Material' [679]

Release Date: 30th January

01. The Birds & The Bees 
02. Be Strong
03. Bear Hug
04. Work 
05. Warm & Easy 
06. Take A Look Around
07. Ghosts & Zombies
08. Time In Mind
09. Increase Your Faith 
10. Heart Of The Congos
11. Get Together
12. Church


The 2 Bears - Be Strong 

The 2 Bears - Church