Rantings, reviews and lists from a person who structures half his life around obsessing over music.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Caribou - Andorra (2007)

4.0 ★/8.0 - 8.9

Like most musical artists, Daniel Snaith aims to use sound to express emotions. But coming from a genre that's known for it's disregard of humanity (IDM) and possessing a songwriting style that's appropriate for such a background, this has to be quite the challenge. The disconnect between the title of his last album and the sounds within only further proves that. If Daniel had any sincerity with titling his debut as Caribou, The Milk of Human Kindness, it was completely lost on the album's contents; sterile, Krautrock-rooted jamming and genre-hopping nods to record geeks.

The sound of his follow-up however, suggests that maybe the two album names just got mixed up on Daniel's cutting room floor. There's far more "human milk," so to speak, on the first two tracks of Andorra than on the entirety of its prequel. Admittedly, tracks like "Sundialing" and "Niobe" are still tightly constructed with precise, unforgiving rhythms and intensely satisfying build-ups, and electronics still form the basis for most of these songs (See the brilliantly sampled and looped "doo doo doos" of "She's The One"). But whereas the debut came off as mechanical and unforgiving, Andorra's sun soaked glory manages to express something much more than the sum of it's precise polyrhythms and calculated constructs.

Or perhaps it's much less, because if you trek through it's computer driven dense noodling looking for the source of it's humanity, you'll overlook that Andorra is just a plain fun record, filled with Zombies-style sunshine pop, soaring choruses and outlooks as simple as "love is nice". Maybe that's why it works. It sounds as if Daniel came to terms with what he could and couldn't express with his style, and made a rational compromise; to perfectly match his superficial backdrops with equally superficial emotions, crafting an album that's bursting with signs of organic growth and moments of beautiful grace.

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