The Bear Quartet

Personality Crisis

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Following 1996's Moby Dick, the Bear Quartet's first album to get the Swedish group any notice in the U.K. and U.S., it was expected that 1998's Personality Crisis would expand the group's worldwide profile even further; unfortunately, the Swedish pop invasion was largely over by the time this album came out, and it was largely ignored outside of Scandinavia. It's a shame, because Personality Crisis not only is basically Moby Dick part two, in some ways it's actually the superior album. The commitment to musical variety is the same, with horns, strings, and exotic stringed and percussion instruments finding their way into most of the songs. Interestingly, Björn Olsson of the Soundtracks of Our Lives is an adjunct member on this album, and his group's tendency toward spacy psychedelia and big classic rock tropes colors the songs. Surface comparisons could therefore be made to Radiohead's OK Computer, but this is a much warmer and emotionally accessible album, with the heartbreaking "I Remember Nights Wide Open" and the richly melodic closer, "Same Old C/O," the musical and emotional high points of the album.

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