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Last year, IBM released a report about the way marketing officials at major corporations are using the Internet. Though the gist of the study concluded that these high-paid administrators weren’t using it very well, the October release actually hinged on a much more intriguing and intimidating fact: “Every day we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data—so much that 90 percent of ... Read more in Amazon's Grizzly Bear Store
At first Yellow House may wash over you and not really impress. Sure, it sounds lovely, all Pet Sounds/Smile fiddly melodies and lovely harmonies, but the subtleties of this album may pass you by. But something will nag at you, forcing you to return. And it is then that you realise that the melodies have been burned into your brain allowing you to listen to what else is going on.
At first On A Neck, On A Spit will be the stand out, but soon songs like Lullaby, Easier and Colorado will reveal their rather sublime secrets.
Alot has been made about Warp's tendency to sign bands instead of electronic acts, but with Grizzly Bear they may have found a band that fits the classic Warp remit, the way Broadcast have and Maximo Park have not. By this I mean that Grizzly Bear's sound is endlessly creative, while at the same time being strangely familiar, and it can be hard to put your finger on the precise thing that makes them special, you just know they are.
There haven't been many successes from the seriously deteriorating Warp label this year, but Yellow House is most definately one of them.
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E. A SolinasHALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 18 April 2007
Format: Audio CD
Grizzly Bear have been around for awhile, but "Yellow House" is their first album as a complete, cohesive quartet band. And it's a stunning piece of work, layering together ethereal freakfolk and gentle rock'n'roll into an eerily earthy sound -- it's like listening to a folk band made up of ghosts.
It opens with a run-through of the instrumentation -- a flute smoothing out into a wobbly violin, and some tinny piano. After a moment of silence, the band slips into "Easier," with its folky banjo/guitar melody wrapped in gentle shimmering synth. And the lyrics hint at broken houses and broken loves: "I know, I know, the doors won't close/the pipes all froze/just let it go...let's recreate an easier time/because I still can't find you."
They follow it up with an earthier song, "Lullabye," which meanders uncertainly through mostly acoustic territory, but with the occasional synthy chime. The songs that follow are in this mold -- ghostly rockers and fizzly, windy ballads. Each one starts off simple and slow, but builds up into atmospheric and powerful pieces of work.
If you just hear a sample or skip through it, "Yellow House" sounds like your basic folk-rock album. Not much to listen to. But listen to some of the songs in their entirety, and the beauty of their music really starts to stick out -- it's sort of glitchy shimmery freakfolk psychedelica, with a bit of lo-fi indie-rock thrown in for good measure.
They have a dud every now and then -- the first halves of "On a Neck, On a Spit" and "Reprise" are too banjoey and straightforward to fit in. However, the rest of the time they craft their music exquisitely -- the instrumentation and vocals are layered together into hypnotic swirls, sometimes fading out to give it that ghostly sound.Read more ›
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I came across Grizzly Bear via Dan Rossen's brilliant - but wholly different - earlier project Department of Eagles. I was initially underwhelmed and bemused, but I persevered and can back previous reviewers who have labelled this a grower. If like me you have come to Grizzly Bear via Department of Eagles, you will want to know what, if anything, it has in common with that project. Not a great deal in fact - this shares more with the deconstructed Beach Boys harmonies and acid-spiked folk of Animal Collective, for example, or a less-prosaic version of Tunng's haunted Wicker Man folktronica. Throw in the wierd, rustic Americana of Midlake, Matt Elliot's Gallic ghostliness, the multi-instrumental dynamism and song-within-song structures of Soft Bulletin-era Flaming Lips, with a pinch of Bernard Herrmann and you might get something close. Whereas the Animal Collective reconstruct the spirit of the Beach Boys through the giddy, sometimes nauseating hyperactivity of childhood, Grizzly Bear's interpretation is spectral and autumnal, relocated from sunny California to the bleak New York woodlands.
Woodwinds, banjo, acoustic guitar, jazzy percussion and piano combine with a subtle use of electronics to create a sound that is at once creakily lo-fi and, when they want, vast and orchestral. Something in the assemlance of sounds suggests a commonality with other artists on the Warp roster, belied by the roaming formlessness of the songs. Melodic refrains segue in and out of cavernous musical interludes, many clocking up to six minutes. There are times when it slips out of focus and starts to drift into cultish incidental music, but the album is best taken as a whole, with a carefully-refined and singular atmosphere. One for winter days.
Like this? Try any of the aforementioned artists, especially Animal Collective's 'Song Tungs' or even Iron and Wine's 'Shepherd's Dog'.
This is a sublime record that grows on you like a tumour. As previous reviewers have said it occupies a space where spectral sounds and earthy elements collide. Yes you can trace back through Yo La Tengo and Galaxie 500 to get to the root of Grizzly Bear but this record is great in its own right. The latest record somehow tarnishes this one by virtue of its naked commercial sound - this record is a different beast all together. Its a record of half heard sounds and deja vu. I swear the first song actually doesnt ever end, it merely mutates across the rest of the record. And at the price currently on amazon its a steal. You may take a couple of listens to get into this incarnation of Grizzly Bear but if you persevere you will be rewarded in spades. This is a truly beautiful and mysterious record. A spiders web of sound. You should buy it. No doubt that this record has 5 stars running through it like a stick of rock. Essential.
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