“After a Pause” is the second solo release from Bear, a talented keyboardist and electronic percussionist, as well as the brother of guitar virtuoso Bob Kilgore. Comprised of fifteen instrumental tracks of varying styles, “After a Pause” offers nearly an hour of contemplative enjoyment and spirited fun.
“Once Darkness, Now Light” opens with a low drone and spacey synths that are joined by subtle chimes, immediately creating a wonderful sense of anticipation. Switching gears into solo piano is “For a Short While”, before reverting back to an electronic theme with “Colors of Sunrise”. Characterized by melodic sequencers and glistening vibraphone which are underscored by fretless bass, the piece seems to mimic the sun’s rays reflecting and shimmering upon the water. Acoustic guitar opens “Everyday Life” which is soon joined by slick bass and drums. This groovy tune is another standout that boasts a tinge of funk with a sprinkling of piano throughout. “Dancing for Eternity” is quite possibly the album’s most fun offering, as digital bleeps and a disco beat exude colorful buoyancy. Another noteworthy track is “Pressing On”, where cinematic strings and harpsichord-like synth convey a feeling of flight and fantasy. I’m also especially fond of “The Race”, another electronic piece characterized by vintage synthesizer motifs and a retro-futuristic vibe that alludes to a mission in space. “To the Remote Regions” is another particular highlight defined by watery sounds swirling about, complemented further by drums and tribal percussion. Closing out the album is “Princess Alaina”, an uplifting piano piece accompanied by gentle strings, making for an appropriately tender yet optimistic conclusion.
Drawing from a diverse musical palette, “After a Pause” is wonderfully eclectic and hard to classify, although there are certainly elements of new age, symphonic electronic, contemporary instrumental, solo piano, jazz and classical throughout. A pure delight from start to finish, Bear has created a uniquely adventurous album that has something for almost everyone.