Raf Rundell and Joe Goddard and back in the bear suits and with them they bring The Night Is Young. Their last release, Be Strong invaded dance floors and was hailed the reinvention of house music, breathing new life into the genre and attracting a great deal of mainstream attention. “2 Bears would like to give lots of musical love to all nice and decent people” Rundell’s dulcet cockney tones declared on their first album’s title track, and The Night Is Young certainly continues in the same vein; an hour of pop-house both engaging and above all fun.
The album opens with slow building ‘Get Out’. The melody is dominated by Rundell’s distinctive vocals, which account for one of the reasons that The 2 Bears are so far removed from the usual pop-house found in the charts. Just shy of four minutes it transforms into almost another song entirely and then morphs into the first single from the album, ‘Angel (Touch Me)’, its piano driven beat dripping with nostalgia for the 90s dance music which the duo hold so dear.
Rundell claims he got the idea for The 2 Bears while “sitting on the sofa in my underpants on a Tuesday morning, stoned, listening to Sade’s ‘When Am I Going to Make a Living?’ with a desire to mix serious messages with pop music.” Under the energetic melodies we often find darker messages, particularly with reference to family and relationships, ‘Modern Family’ and ‘Get Out’ being two of the best examples. With entertaining music and thoughtful lyrics The 2 Bears strike a carefully set balance and, importantly, manage to avoid taking themselves too seriously.
The most experimental moment on the album is also potentially the weakest; the unexplained reggae effort ‘Money Man’, featuring Stylo G. There is no questioning that this is certainly novel, but sits uncomfortably with the rest of the album, certainly more cringe-worthy than a commendable effort to be original. Fortunately ‘Not This Time’ soon resets the balance and really is the Bears at their best, again driven by upbeat piano chord progression with a beat so catchy it should be illegal.