Hip Hop Album Reviews (10/2016)

The Lovers

THE LOVERS

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An album by Bear Paris

Review presented by Issac Sandoval

Listen to “The Lovers” by Bear Paris

Any artist(s) interested in having a review done should check out the offers provided by The Write Reviews or contact The Write Reviews.


THE INTRO

Bear Paris is not a hip hop artist. Actually, he is the first artist to be reviewed on the website that isn’t a hip hop artist. When talking about having his album reviewed, he brought up the fact that he was an R&B artist and wondered if that would cause any issues with having a track by track breakdown at The Write Reviews. Of course I told him it wouldn’t be a problem at all, especially since we are looking to expand into every genre of music we possibly can and that was all he needed to push The Lovers into our hands.

With Issac Sandoval’s knack for noticing technicalities and his knowledge of poetic prose, I felt he was the perfect guy to breakdown the first R&B album submitted to The Write Reviews. Needless to say, after reading Issac’s analysis, I am glad I put Bear’s album in the hands of the Expert Executioner.

– Warren Peace


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THE ALBUM

1- Fire

The opening instrumental is soothing with some modern trap elements, but not enough to turn off the R&B purists. We are first introduced to Bear and his unique voice as he sings the title of the song. What I love most about Fire is that it sounds modern without being trendy or pop, which is certainly not an easy thing to do. Some may find the lyrics a bit repetitive, but I find the repetition to be poetic in nature. Yes ladies and gentlemen, repetition is a poetic device, if you don’t believe me, feel free to look it up.

2- Gutta Love

Perhaps the least generic of all generic love songs ever. Now that’s not necessarily a negative thing. most love songs are full of generic, cheesy clichés that are so appealing. Gutta Love has that exact vibe to it until the hook arrives and Bear takes us to the Gutta. The chopped and screwed effect gives the track a unique sound to compliment the subject matter. While I think the track serves its purpose and is enjoyable for the most part, but it doesn’t demand the attention that some of the other songs do.

3- Torch

The energy is more evident on Torch than it was on Fire or Gutta Love, with the vocals coming in hard from the very beginning. I absolutely love this hook, speaking of devotion in a way that calls upon imagery is not something that is exactly common in the musical stylings of the underground. The bridge however, is not doing this track any favors. On the opening track repetition was used effectively, but when it comes to Torch I find it to be excessive. Too many “do you believe in love’ and “oh na na na na na na” for my liking.

4- Before

Before may be my favorite song from The Lovers. The piano instrumental is elegant and calming, the opposite of the natural tone of Bear’s voice. Now many times an instrumental being so different from an artist’s tone may be a problem, but thanks to the subject matter of the song it creates a bit of subconscious juxtaposition. Displaying the desperation in Bear’s voice in the midst of the troubles that the lovers have encountered as he longs for the peace and ecstasy that has past. The repetition is once again effective here as another tool to illustrate the desperation.

5- Dreaming

Story-telling is an element that underground heads hold in high regard when it comes to Hip-Hop, and many miss the mark. Bear hits the mark here by bringing the story-telling element to us through the vehicle of R&B. The song opens with Bear setting the scene and he does all of the heavy lifting so that the listener can easily picture in his mind Bear looking into a starless night sky, deep in thought. I am not familiar with Bear or his creative process, but if he writes all his own material it isn’t hard to see how this scene could be painted so vividly. As he contemplates love lost and impending fatherhood your heart goes out to this man.

6- L

Is this a song about Meek Mill? I really have got to stop putting these lame jokes in my reviews. L is definitely not my favorite song in this collection. The melodious background of the instrumental is absolutely beautiful, but the computerized sounding loop in the foreground is a little distracting. I am also not a fan of Bear’s delivery on this track, to me it feels too lax and void of emotion for the subject matter that he is tackling on L. Overall, I like where he was going, I just don’t think he gets there.

7- The Lovers

The title and concluding track to this EP does not disappoint, and it is always a pleasure to be sent out from a listening experience on a high note. Once again we have a shining example of brilliant production. I really can not stress enough to the artists in the underground the importance of beat selection. The backing instrumental to the lovers has more depth than any of the others on the project, along with the background vocals and adlibs in the hook, this song sounds the most complete. I think Bear really shows some creative chops with how much went into constructing this song.


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FEATURED TRACKS

Torch, Before, Dreaming, and The Lovers


THE WRITE UP

This was my first time tackling an R&B album for The Write Reviews and when Warren told me what awaited me I was a little nervous. In my short time writing reviews I have already reviewed several Hip-Hop albums that were hard to listen to, and an album that contains more singing could get very bad, very fast. Luckily for me and for all of you as well, Bear Paris delivers some high quality music for us to enjoy. Some may not be the biggest fans of his voice, and that’s a matter of opinion, and personally I dig it. The album has a great sound to it overall, the beat selection is excellent. The producer(s) and engineer(s) did a wonderful job creating the final product. Bear’s writing is a tiny bit repetitive at times, but more often than not the repetition is adding to the track rather than taking away from it.

If there are shortcomings for The Lovers it would be a lack of depth. With the exception of the title track there is a lack of background vocals and adlibs, the EP as a whole sounds too minimal. I think when used selectively this stripped down style can be very effective, but the reverse is equally true. More layers can give more character and flavor to the final product. While I enjoy the “strained” sound to Bear’s voice (that’s not meant to sound offensive, that’s just the best way I can think to describe the sound of his voice) I do think he could benefit from the use of some more range. To me he’s a little more monotone than I would like, and in this day and age where we are over saturated with musicians this may lead to many writing you off as boring. That is something I would hate to see happen as I thoroughly enjoyed this body of work and look forward to hearing from Bear again in the future.


STAR STATUS

⭐⭐⭐⭐

(4 out of 5 stars)

Check out more great stuff at The Write Reviews!

RETURN TO REVIEWS

ARTIST OF THE MONTH

FEATURED EMCEES

THE INTERVIEWS


Bear Paris can be found on Facebook and Twitter!

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