Euphoric, enchanting, exquisite; the first three words that come to mind when trying to describe the masterpiece that is Andrew Belle’s ‘Black Bear’. This being Belle’s second full-length album, it is shocking to hear such maturity that most sophomore albums would lack. ‘Black Bear’ is overflowing with glassy melodies and a voice oozing with emotion. The perfectly graceful songs effortlessly flow together in an almost fluid like motion. In the end you are left feeling rejuvenated.
Having come across Andrew Belle a couple of months ago, I instantly thought of Coldplay. This comparison couldn’t be anymore wrong. Yes, there may be similarities in vocals and style and some songs may sound like a Coldplay song (“Wants What It Wants” and “Details”) , but after fully listening to ‘Black Bear’ you realize that the style is completely different. Having the calm, comforting vocals that Chris Martin also posseses, Andrew Belle puts a spin on his style by adding crisp, serene electronic beats. The album opens up with “Dark Matter” a song that showcases these electronic beats. It is a song that is captivating from beginning to end and Belle’s comforting vocals engulf you and take you in. After the first track the album slowly begins to progress into faster tracks and slowly lets go of those crisp electronic beats. By the end you are left with an album that has stripped and unstripped right in front of you and what is left is a beautifully raw piece of alternative art.
First listen: I liked it. Second listen: I loved it. Fourth and fifth listen: still hasn’t grown old. No matter how many times I listen to this album I find something new about it that I like.
Overall Rating: ★★★★☆