- Audio CD (2 Jun. 2015)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: CD
- Label: City Slang
- ASIN: B000TJAQLU
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 82,529 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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The album has a distinctive 60's retro sound and comparisons could be made to various Psyche/Pop bands from that era, but that would be missing the point...Opener,"Melody Day" sets the scene with its lush falsetto vocals and sleigh bells and lets you know from the start that you are experincing something remarkable.This is truely fresh and exciting, and welcomes you with open arms into a dreamlike place that solely exists for the duration of the album.
The highlight for me though has to be "Niobe", the closing track. Its impossible to pigeonhole to a specific style (why would you want to when its this good)and sounds futuristic and ancient at the same time, with an almost trance like feel that holds your full attention.
I am a little biased in my opinion, Ive been a Caribou/Manitoba fan since time began but I think this album will appeal to everyone and not just hardcore followers. This should bring the success and aclaim that Dan Snaith justly deserves...I just cant wait for the next one.
For the record, that doesn't mean that I don't like his music. In fact, I'm glad because Caribou (also known as Daniel V. Snaith) apparently spent his time coming up wiyj "Andorra," an album of psychedelic folkpop that stands way above his past work. It's a magical, almost transcendent little album that never allows you to be bored.
It opens with a swirling, lush little melody, full of bells and twittering flute. "Melody day/what have I done?" Snaith murmurs softly. "Now our hearts are locked up tight again/and when I pray its all begun/and when you smile it melts away again..."
That sound is echoed in "Sandy," which straddles the fence between pastoral pop and psychedelica. And it echoes in the songs that follow: swirling folkpop, languorous indie-rockers, soaring psychedelica, sunny breezy pop melodies, delicate electropop, and ending with the darker, shimmering "Niobe."
"Andorra" is a pretty big departure from Caribou's past work -- he started with jazzy electronica, then dense electro-guitarpop and then the free-form psychedelic dementafolk of "The Milk of Human Kindness." This one sounds more like a 1966 acid trip in a summery meadow -- it's just pure, magical psychedelica, with moments of indie-rock and krautrock thrown in.
It's also his most conventionally poppy work, but that's not a bad thing. While his past works were more about exploration than melody, this one is sheer beauty, with lots of peppy melodies swathed in the instrumentation. "Desiree," for example, is a pretty typical love ballad, but smothered in a cloud of tinkling chimes, jabbing violins and delicate synth.
The music itself is a kaleidoscope of gentle acoustic guitar, strings and expansive keyboard full of chimes, twitters and bubbles. As if that weren't sumptuous enough, Snaith adds on bells, banjo, and a flute that does its best to imitate birdcalls, as well as his own elusively wistful vocals.
"Andorra" is unlike any of Caribou's past work, but it's also the best. Soft, sunny and transcendentally pretty, this is a electronic and psychedelic masterpiece.
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 should I say, much less? For 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. (Aron Fischer)
For fans of: Manitoba, Zombies, The Helio Sequence, Can, M83
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