Bear In Heaven

I Love You, It’s Cool

Dead Oceans • 2012

If Brooklyn-based band Bear in Heaven had been around in the 80s I’m pretty certain that their synch-pop anthems from »I Love You, It’s Cool« would have made it on every one of John Hughes’ teenage, rom-com movie soundtrack. With lyrics like »I miss someone like you/I want to tell you secret things/But my lips won’t say anything« on delightfully cheesy sounding »The Reflection Of You«, you can’t help but imagine a high-school prom drama scenario of broken hearts and spiked punch. Overall the album offers a super adolescent New Wave vibe with the synths echoing the sounds of New Order and the cymbal-infused song »Sinful Nature« reminds of The Smiths. Just like there isn’t a shortage of bands whose name contains an animal name (Panda Bear, Deerhunter and Grizzly Bear to name a few) there also isn’t a shortage in bands doing the whole 80s techno-indie-pop thing. Though there are some stand-out songs like the effect-filled yet dreamy album opener »Idle Hearts« it just doesn’t have the »Wow!« effect. In trying to emulate the pop-y sounds of 80s, which they no doubtedly succeeded in, it feels like singer Jon Pilphot and band didn’t produce anything groundbreaking – but not every album has to be groundbreaking. Albums should be enjoyable and this definitely is a piece of ear candy with its innocent, psychadelic tunes that swirl around effortlessly as you listen to them. What makes it so effortless is the consistency of the album: each song runs into the other one so rather than a collection of songs the album becomes one big package. An example where this worked really well would be The XX’s debut album. The same sort of sound ran from one song to the next but it was their sound. Something new. On »I Love You, It’s Cool« it comes across as predictable simplicity rather than genius. But nonetheless, they see their nostalgia-driven 80s vision through and warmly welcome the listener to join in.