2bears

The 2 Bears’ follow-up to their fondly nostalgic homage to ’90s house and South London bacchanalia is cut from the same earnestly optimistic and intensely likeable cloth as its predecessor, with the exception that in addition to the wide-grinned nods to Frankie Knuckles and Brixton soundclashes, it also contains two of the most perfect, bodily addictive pop songs you’ll hear all year in ‘Angel’ and ‘Not This Time’ – the latter with a credible claim for a place among the all-time greats.

Combining soaring hands-in-the-air piano house with downtrodden lyrical melancholy is no new trick, but across those two tracks the duo perform it so flawlessly that the results feel timeless. Unfortunately, the early appearance of those two spectaculars in the running order is rather the undoing of the rest of ‘The Night Is Young’: the album’s middle third features a flurry of entertaining songs desperately in need of an editor, and while things recover towards the end, one can’t help but be tantalised by the earlier greatness.

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