Grizzly Bear Friend

This has the trappings of being a collection of remixes, as well as odds and ends, that have happened since this band’s last album, the mind-blowing Yellow House. But, digging a little bit deeper, this actually is a harbinger of things to come in the Grizzly Bear camp. Where Yellow House showed the band starting to exercise their intricate art-folk, beautiful harmonies and hairpin tempo changes, they seem close to mastering that combination on a couple of monster songs here. Opener "Alligator (Choir Version)” fleshes out the original (from their debut, Horn of Plenty) significantly with pounding drum rolls and heavenly harmonies turning this former 16mm film into a widescreen extravaganza. But the true standout is "Little Brother (Electric Version),” which puts to tape the band’s live interpretation of the song from Yellow House. This version bellows and booms, turning the intimate into the epic, and is the must-have song off this collection. The rest of the album is some remixes, with the best by CSS, and some electronic doodles, but it’s the above songs that showcase the jaw-dropping talent this band are just starting to harness. (Warp)