Album Review: Minus The Bear—“Lost Loves”

By Jeza Nadir, Feature Photo via Bottom Lounge

After being a part of the indie-rock music scene for a solid thirteen years, Minus the Bear released their sixth full-length album, Lost Loves; a fitting title, considering that it’s comprised entirely of songs that have been abandoned in some way or another during the past seven years of MTB’s career. Retracing all those years of development by releasing older music presents a certain sense of volatility mainly because the collection pushes fans to explore MTB’s artistic identity and stylistic reputation. Questions like “how can I compare this ‘new’ album to an ‘older’ one?” or “should I be feeling a sense of nostalgia or renewal while listening to this?” are reasonable when you realize that Lost Loves has the potential to condense MTB’s progress into just ten songs. It’s actually quite difficult to think of the album as a new and unfamiliar piece of work, especially considering that the overall composition was not as fresh or unusual as some fans may have wanted it to be.

Album art for Lost Loves

Album art for Lost Loves

The first, most distinctive feature about any given track on the album is that the instrumental part is the strongest element. For example, “Electric Rainbow,” the very first track, starts off with a tantalizing polyphonic harmony and tremulous rhythm on synth guitar. Such instrumentation has an incredible visual appeal by itself; that is, it’s easy to get imaginative by just listening to some of those guitar solos. This strength is epitomized during “Patiently Waiting”, the track that also happens to have the greatest vocal strength. For the majority of the tracks, however, the vocals are slightly monotonous and at times weakly synchronized with the rest of the band, resulting in shallow undertones within each track. That’s not to say that Lost Loves is a ‘bad’ album; it’s just that there is nothing remotely groundbreaking about it, which was exactly what was expected from these tracks, the oldest of which date back to 2007.

Overall, die-hard fans will really enjoy Lost Loves because the music remains consistent with MTB’s regular stylistic approach. However, if one is looking for cutting-edge music with great vivacity, Lost Loves does not set that tone. One can even go as far as to say that MTB could have used the time they spent compiling Lost Loves to actually build on criticism that has followed them for a large portion of their career. In retrospect, it seems like there is so much more to be expected of a band that has the amount of experience and creativity that they do. (Dangerbird)

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