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Caribou ‘Our Love’ – Album Review

Merge (2014)

Ontario-born, London based producer Dan Snaith has built a career on producing the kind of psychedelic electro jams that are almost impossible to dance to. But following a conversation with a group of Ibiza revellers, which proved to be something of an epiphany, the 36-year-old is now trying to make cutting a rug a little easier with Our Love, his fourth album under the guise of Caribou.

Thankfully, the follow-up to 2010’s Swim doesn’t exactly muscle in on David Guetta’s territory – there’s no trace of any monster bass drops or trashy EDM synths among its ten exquisitely produced tracks. But unlike his previous records, both the ones under the Caribou moniker and his Manitoba and Daphni side-projects, Our Love does at least attempt to engage the feet as much as the mind.

Opening track and lead single “Can’t Do Without You” is the closest thing he’s come to a mainstream club anthem as his filtered yearning vocals repeat the same declaration of devotion over a slow-burning wave of swirling synths and subtle house beats. Named after the late sound engineer, “Julia Brightly” sees Snaith unexpectedly venture into the world of two-step garage, albeit in a typically woozy manner. The hypnotic title track even throws a nod to the Second Summer of Love with its chunky rave stabs and hissing hi-hats.

However, Our Love still contains plenty of off-kilter moments more in keeping with his glitchy origins, whether it’s the New Age-meets-moombahton of “Mars,” in which Caribou showcases his previously untapped skills as a flautist, or the softly-sung slow-motion electro of “Silver.” And on “Second Chance,” ethereal R&B chanteuse Jessy Lanza appears to be singing from a different hymn sheet altogether as her seductive sultry vocals collide with a contrasting wall of disorientating synths.

A perfect place to start for those unfamiliar with Caribou’s talents, Our Love is a rich and rewarding listen which proves that when it comes to dance music, accessibility and intelligence needn’t be mutually exclusive terms.

4.5 / 5 stars     

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About the Author

on MUSIC IS MY OXYGEN WEEKLY.

Jon O'Brien's love of music began as a six-year-old after becoming bizarrely transfixed with the 80s poodle rock of Heart, Europe and Def Leppard. Switching his attention to pop icon Michael Jackson, he then became addicted to the UK Top 40, becoming a rather pointless walking Wikipedia of chart positions in the process. Driving his poor neighbors up the wall while learning to play the drums as a teen, he toyed with the idea of becoming a musician, but in studying Journalism at the University of Central Lancashire, he realized heÕd rather write about music than perform it. Since then, he's written thousands of reviews and biographies on everything from bubblegum pop to death metal, but electronica remains his main passion, with everything from Aphex Twin to Zero 7 in his spare room-consuming record collection. Jon resides in northwest England near Liverpool.

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Posted in: Album Reviews, Electronic Music, Featured


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