Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Review: Bear Lake “If You Were Me”

Rock and pop
Driving between downtown Detroit and then through some of the affluent suburbs provides a sharp contrast in how people live. Spending time between these disparate areas is a source of inspiration that finds its way into the songs written by Michigan band Bear Lake. Bear Lake happens to be the place they travel to in Grayling, Michigan to write their material. As a result, the music is generally atmospheric and tranquil. If you are a fan of shows like One Tree Hill, Bones, or The Gates, chances are you’ve already heard some music by this band.

The sound of Bear Lake is quite contemporary – somewhere between Coldplay and Keane – with some experimental keyboard effects thrown in that probably get mixed responses. I could do without the electronic noises and personally think the band sounds best when these elements are not incorporated. One if the most striking things this band can boast of are the vocals – they have warmth and charm that fit perfectly with the airy songs, but show their teeth on the heavier numbers. Opening tune, “It’s Over”, surrounds an infectious riff with dazzling harmonies, serving as a fine introduction to the album. Most of my favorite songs cluster at the back end of the CD, such as the acoustic-driven pop of the title track and the nostalgic “We Were The Young”. The peppy “Tonight Is On Your Side” is another thrill ride, but the moodier hooks in “Breaking Me Down” were built to last.

Bear Lake is recommended if you like Keane, Band of Horses, or Snow Patrol. Head over to their page now and get a free download code.

iPOD-worthy: 1, 3, 8, 9, 11

Bear LakeOfficial site.