Minus the Bear

Lost Loves

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With albums as tightly constructed as Minus the Bear's, it's hard to imagine that there's much left over after the recording process is over and done with. Those knotty, intricate albums come at a cost, and songs that once paid the ultimate price in the name of consistency get a second chance on Lost Loves. Resurrecting songs from the recording sessions that spawned 2007's Planet of Ice, 2010's Omni, and 2012's Infinity Overhead, the collection lovingly compiles these nearly forgotten (or at the very least hard to find) gems into what feels more or less like a complete album. And unlike a lot of odds and ends compilations, which often contain at least a few tracks where it's obvious why they were jettisoned from an album, the quality of the tracks on Lost Loves easily stands up to the rest of the band's body of work. The tracks here are even sequenced in a way that gives the album a real sense of flow, making the album solid enough that, had Minus the Bear just released it as a standalone record, there's a good chance people might not have noticed. It would seem that whatever it is that makes an album stick out from the pack on a Minus the Bear record is fairly consistent, but given the quality of this band's output and the uniqueness of their sound, it comes as no surprise that not only are their cast-offs pretty solid, but that make for an oddly good album when strung together. This makes Lost Loves one of those rare B-sides collections that isn't just for super fans, but for anyone who enjoys the twisting, labyrinthine melodies Minus the Bear are capable of conjuring almost by accident.

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