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Podington Bear

The End

(Hush; US: 24 Jun 2008; UK: Available as import)

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.

Rating:

Michael Keefe is a freelance music journalist, an independent bookstore publicist, and a singer/guitarist/songwriter in a band. Raised on a record collection of The Beatles, Coltrane, Mozart, and Ravi Shankar, Michael has been a slave to music his whole life. At age 16, he got a drum set and a job at a record store, and he's been playing and peddling music ever since. Today, he lives in Oregon with his wife (also a writer, but not about music), two cats, and a whole lot of instruments and CDs.


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