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coverpic flag Canada - Full Moon 223 - 11/06/14

Caribou
Our Love
City Slang / Merge Records

More than ten years have passed since Tim Clarke reported from Manitoba's splendid live appearance in Melbourne, in June of 2004. It has been over 9 years since the legendary Bill Banks took a flip-turn over The Milk of Human Kindness. Another seven years has gone since I was knocked over by Caribou's second album, Andorra (who won the Canadian Polaris Prize award). Since then I missed Swim (2010). Now it is time to check out the musical whereabouts of Daniel Snaith, A.K.A. Caribou (formerly A.K.A. Manitoba). Again. It is probably worth the time spent by the Caribou jukebox.

Our Love is the sixth studio album by Canadian musician Dan Snaith, or by Manitoba and/or Caribou. Snaith put out his two first albums (Start Breaking My Heart, 2001, and Up in Flames, 2003) under the Manitoba moniker. Then, due to a legal conflict, he flipped name to Caribou. So, Our Love is the fourth Caribou album, seeing the light of day some four years after his last album, Swim. Snaith is a dance pop eccentric, bringing out a record sounding like a remix collection. Our Love opens with the swirling, charming and pleasing "Can't Do Without You" (which was the first song from Our Love to be released, as it was made available for free - online - back in early June). "Silver" is also nice, but it is not as shiny as many of the other tracks included on the album. Oh, yes, "Can't Do Without You" holds contributions from another of Canada's finest, Owen Pallett. Pallett adds violin to several of the tracks on the album, and he has maybe been involved with some signwriting/composing as well. "All I Ever Need" (and a couple of other tracks) sounds quite close to what Pallett has been up to on his own recordings. A clash of two musical geniuses -- what can possibly be better than that. A perfect combo, a match made in heaven.

Our Love is a delicate collections of songs dressed in marvellous arrangements. The songs are dressed well for the dance party going on. Pallett is a perfect collaborator for Snaith, but besides Pallett, there have been other players around as well, such as singer and composer Jessy Lanza, designer Matthew Cooper, art director/designer/photographer Jason Evans, and British soundman (mixer) David Wrench. For the video for "Our Love", director Ryan Staake (Staake is a producer, writer, animator & designer as well - he has directed music videos for Alt-J, The Asteroids Galaxy Tour, Diplo, Rusko, and many more) has been involved, along with producer Audrey Davenport and DOP Luca Ciuti. Our Love (the album) is made with love and affection, and it is a mixture of many a 'modern' genre including (to quote Drag City): 'hip hop inspired beats, muted house basslines and a love of shuffling garage'.

Caribou's label, City Slang have stated: 'You reach a point in life where the question of how to stay at the top of your game looms; the only real solution being, you change the game. Our Love is the sound of Dan Snaith doing just that.' Yes, Snaith does that. He makes music (songs) with creamy sound and refreshing instrumentation and arrangements. Check out the sparkling track "Mars" or the chilling and shimmering "Back Home", the latter being the album's finest song. Synth pop at its best. It is smashing. Same goes for the album's closing track, "Your Love Will Set You Free", which is brilliantly performed and arranged. Our Love a very cool and joyous listen. This is the sound of modern, digital pop revisited. The entire goody bag is maybe a bit too much, but in parts this is as good as it gets. Again, let us quote City Slang: 'The warm analogue sounds of classic soul should not be overlooked either, for they weave themselves most intensely into the records DNA'.

Copyright © 2014 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Caribou articles/reviews: Andorra, The Milk of Human Kindness.

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