Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Look what I found in the bargain bin (but didn't buy)

Polar Bear
Held On The Tips of Fingers
(Babel Label)

Price: S$6.95

The conversation went something like this:

The Geek: Eh, Polar Bear!
Pantsy: Where?
The Geek: Here! (holding the album in his hand)
Pantsy: Oh. (continues browsing the bargain bin)
The Geek: Have you heard of them?
Pantsy: Errr, no.
The Geek: They're quite critically acclaimed right?
Pantsy: Really? Dunno.
The Geek: Hmm. Well, the cover is ugly. Too bad. (puts it back)

Yeah, it's one of those moments when our self-absorbed, taste-spotting radars failed us. Which is tragic, really, when you consider that we willingly passed up the 2005 Mercury Prize-nommed sophomore album by British post-jazz outfit Polar Bear (also hailed by Jazzwise mag as one of the "100 jazz albums that shook the world").

Our loss. Like their moniker, Polar Bear's music appears mystical and incomprehensible from afar, yet constant mingling promises a warm, cuddly experience. Drummer and front bear Sebastian Rochford has got that envious gift of genre-crossing songcraft, also held by fellow post-jazzers Jaga Jazzist (note: "post-jazz" has got to be the laziest genre ever coined). According to their MySpace, They've got a new album due this year. And if it pops up in another bargain bin somewhere on God's green earth, don't count on another daft conversation by us for it to be left there again.

Polar Bear - Balloon Tune (from upcoming yet-to-be-titled album)
Polar Bear - Fluffy (I Want You) (from Held On The Tips of Fingers)

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