Album of the Week: Boy & Bear ‘Limit Of Love’
‘Limit of Love’ is the highly anticipated third album from five time ARIA award winners Boy & Bear. The band took a different approach with this album recording straight to tape with the guidance of producer Ethan Johns (known for his work with Ryan Adams, Kings of Leon and Kaiser Chiefs) at Peter Gabriel’s UK Real World Studio.
‘Limit Of Love’ also differed from previous Boy & Bear albums as the band wrote as a collective for the first time. This new approach to their music has produced a lighter, more authentic folk rock sound and an album full of sing-a-long-able musical perfection.
The self-titled opener sets up the album with winding rhythms, velvet harmonies and front man Dave Hosking’s distinctive vocals. Walk The Wire is the perfect lead single, featuring classic Boy & Bear vocals, toe tapping rhythms and guitar sounds that draw in their loyal fan base. Whilst giving the listener a sample of the new sound the band has crafted with this record. Where’d You Go is a solid guitar riff layered with an airy folk melody. Following the tempo laid out in Walk the Wire Hosking croons and you float on into Hollow Ground.
Hollow Ground is reminiscent of Bridges from ‘Harlequin Dream’s’, with a signature climbing guitar solo to round it out. Notably this is a slightly more folk-infused track, showcasing the versatility of Boy & Bear.Showdown picks up where Hollow Ground finished, continuing the steady rhythms but with a slightly darker bass line. The moody choral backing layered over the instruments gives the song depth unlike any of the tracks so far. This is a sound that is undeniably a result of the location and the recording process Boy & Bear opted for with ‘Limit of Love’.
Showdown’s crescendo (that hopefully translates into a beautiful moment in their live shows) preps the tempo for A Thousand Faces. A Thousand Faces quickens the beat once more with powerful guitar and the unfamiliar yet welcome sound of a synth. Man Alone is beautiful track with piano chords melding with the lead vocals. With rhythm and melody taking you on a twisting and turning journey – a song that initially listeners will overlook but return to over and over after a few plays of the album.
Just Dumb is a beautifully crafted track. Initially the vocals are the focus, but steadily percussion and delicate guitar break through. Just Dumb is a perfectly composed song that will pluck a heart string even in the blackest of hearts, and is a standout track on the album. ‘Limit of Love’ comes to an end with Fox Hole, a minimalist track that doesn’t detract from the journey the album took, acting as the ultimate fade out to a remarkable album. The endearing Boy & Bear sound lives on in ‘Limit of Love’ whilst allowing the band to evolve and develop their sound.