[28 October 2008]
Portland, Oregon electronica artist Podington Bear (who later revealed himself to be Hush label owner Chad Crouch) spent all of 2007 recording and releasing to his website three instrumental lap-pop ditties every week. Incredibly, they’re all good. Intended to simply enforce self-discipline, Crouch’s regimen made for good publicity and increased demand for his material. In 2008, he compiled the majority of his blog-cast songs for the ten-CD Box Set. He also released a separate CD of all new material, The End. This seven-track album is devoted to the stages of coping with loss. Far from a downer, even songs called “Grief” and “Fury” twinkle, blip, pulsate, and glide. Those qualities can be found in most of Podington Bear’s material. What’s new here is a more cinematic scope. With most tracks running five to seven minutes, Crouch affords himself the opportunity to stretch out, modulate, and explore nifty diversions. As with his briefer tunes, Podington proves himself to be a bear with excellent pop instincts. From “Change” to “Acceptance,” The End is pure electronic bliss.