Bear

Greetings, Children of Paradise

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Though a formidable lineup of talent came together for Bear's sole album, it had neither a consistent style nor compelling material. Another one-shot late-'60s psychedelic band, Autosalvage, might serve as a point of comparison, as two members of that group (Skip Boone and Darius Davenport) play on Greetings, Children of Paradise. Bear's record, though, is even more diffuse than Autosalvage's in its dodges between various circa-1968 underground rock styles, made even more erratic by some aspects which seem to aim for a bit of pop appeal. There's a little of the Lovin' Spoonful's good-time rock from time to time, but more often it's an uneasy mesh of free-floating American hippie rock with some Beatlesque harmonies and melodies. Sometimes there are jazzy beats and arrangements; at other times there are moderately heavy psychedelic guitar solos; at others, their basic folk-blues roots poke through (as on "Hungry Dogs of New Mexico"). The songs are kind of shapeless and the melodies on the undistinguished side, however.

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