The second half of a two album project from Canadian indie rock band The Dears, three years after the first instalment. Their seventh album is uplifting baroque pop with a Ben Folds or Penguin Cafe Orchestra warmth and sense of playful freeness, reflective of good times. LP and CD through Dangerbird.
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Remember that time the Dears did a good song? I know. Ages ago wasn't it? Nowadays I know them more for the fact that they were the band that forced Deers to change their name. Also: get a room.
So we're not really off on the right foot here but the subtlety and soulfulness of 'Times Infinity Volume Two' could be capable of winning me over. The opening one two of 'Take It To the Grave' and 'All the Hail Marys' show an otherwise unseen subtlety as the twin vocals of Murray Lightburn and Natalia Yanchak swoon over Radiohead style electronica. This is good. Especially where space is left for the songs to drift. The songs are less interesting when they climax though and I start to remember why I've never really liked them. 'Of Fisticuffs' is the first big rocker and its bluesy shoegaze is listenable but ham fisted in the company of the sparser tracks. Much of this reminds me of the US musician Stew. Clever lyrics matched with unique and sparse arrangements.
It's thoughtful music which attempts to find new patterns and sounds and as a result is better for it. Though Dears still sound like they are making music with boxing gloves the use of space here definitely benefits them. Better than expected.
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