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Sharks and Butterflies – Mr Dog The Bear (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

10934034_599048866916712_5518602514435830681_nWe have speculated, postulated and discussed who might be behind the enigmatic Mr Dog The Bear but to no avail. But whilst the identity of the composer might have eluded us thus far, the beauty and sheer creativity of the music hasn’t. Like all of the best music it is not easily tied down or labelled and the best analogy I can think of is that this full length album is like a train journey across a continent, where the countries you pass through are musical genres and the landscape constantly changes, often subtly but occasionally with stark, dramatic consequence.

If the teaser e.p. I am Jack’s Broken Heart, wasn’t alluring enough, Sharks and Butterflies is the full story and if possible pushes the dynamic even further. Its blending of post-rock structures, classical grandeur, sweeping cinematic cascades and soaring, spiralling crescendos are even more breath-taking, even more heart-wrenchingly beguiling, even more…well, just more.

Without the limitation of words, the music paints pictures and suggests scenes and scenarios that are limited only by the listener’s imagination, irrespective of the composer’s intentions, you are the interpreter here, this is your dream. In just one listen I saw galaxies dying and being reborn, ancient city streets, I viewed the world from the top of mountains and I swam in its deepest oceans. All that and I hadn’t even had breakfast yet.

This is the sound track of the universe and everything in it from the massive to the minuscule, the solid to the intangible, the past and the possible: the music is just a guide, a door to memory, a key to unlock the innermost corners of the subconscious, how rewarding that journey is, is largely down to the limitations or otherwise of the listener.

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