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Minus the Bear: Intricate but Emotional

Minus the Bear's brightly appealing indie-pop may be dispensed with remarkable technical prowess — complete with precise guitar work and complex time changes — but it also benefits from the band's sweetly personal lyrics and flair for writing pop hooks.

By the time the Seattle group's full-length debut, Highly Refined Pirates, was released in 2002, Minus the Bear had built a cult following for its sophisticated music — as well as disarmingly tongue-in-cheek song titles such as "Thanks for the Killer Game of Crisco Twister." Menos el Oso, the group's sophomore effort, appeared in 2005, further streamlining Minus the Bear's intricate sound; a remix disc, Interpretaciones del Oso, followed earlier this year.

With the release of this summer's Planet of Ice, the band expanded its sound in a powerful way, cleverly re-invigorating what lies at the center of its music. Producing the record itself allowed the band to worry less and explore looser, more organic arrangements, resulting in polished, shrewdly arranged songs.

Copyright 2007 XPN

David Dye is a longtime Philadelphia radio personality whose music enthusiasm has captivated listeners of World Cafe® since 1991. World Cafe is produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania.