Saturday, May 8, 2010

Why Don't Caribou Swim?

I'm not so sure what to think.

"Odessa" from Swim (2010)

Dan Snaith (aka Caribou, fka Manitoba) moved to England, learned to swim, started going to clubs, and hanging around with dance producers and DJ's. This has influenced his new album, Swim (2010). Caribou's been one of my more favorite "electronica" artists (#4, 2007!), mainly because there was as much rock or pop or psychedelia in the music as anything dance-oriented. But from what I've read, this is an intentional effort to make explicit club music. Uh...

"Leave House" from Swim (2010)

So, gone are the excessive drums and piled-up arrangements, and for the most part the pop melodies too. Rhythms tend to be more streamlined, the music more stark, and the vocals more central. Not an improvement really. Then again, the tunes I like more (as above) are actually clubbier than the more experimental ones (as "Bowls"). I should like a clanging, glitchy treatment where Tibetan singing bowls are misused, but it seems 6:22 of pointlessness as I'm listening.

"Kaili" from Swim (2010)

Maybe that's part of the problem: the songs are just too long for what they are, one of my issues with Merriweather Post Pavilion (2009). I like individual parts of several songs, like the last quarter of "Sun" - but not enough. Like MPP, Swim is getting terrific buzz. Tops album-ish kind of buzz, I have yet to see a very negative review. Most all in the 4/5 - 80% range.

O well, people change, bands change... I'll keep giving it a chance in case something clicks. But I have a feeling it is what I'm hearing, and it's not my bag. The Animal Collective breakout parallels continue, and I wish Caribou that level of success! If I'm in town, I'll still go see them on the 15th. Why not?!

1 comment:

chad said...

I listened to Sun after you told me about the remix contest. I couldn't really dig it. A few of the contest submissions were good, but I mostly felt the same about them as I did the original.