Our Love is the latest effort from Caribou, one of the monikers used by Daniel Snaith. The album leads off with the single “Can’t Do Without You.” Snaith’s vocals bathe in reverb, while synths swirl about. While it’s a fine tune, it really doesn’t properly introduce the mood of the album. “Silver” is immediately more interesting, drawing the listener in with a laid-back hip-hop beat and trippy synth arpeggios.
Caribou's use of vocal samples is prevalent throughout the album. A tactic Snaith uses to add character and depth to his songs. "All I Ever Need" dabbles in polyrhythm, creating a curious, but still danceable beat. Somehow, no matter how upbeat the instrumental may be, Snaith's vocals manage to make the songs feel claustrophobic. The title track is a great example of this. A steady 4/4 beat leads into more polyrhythm and induces the urge to tap your toes, but the vocals are vulnerable. It's hard to know whether to get up and dance or cry in an empty bathtub.
Of course, Our Love observes Snaith constructing elaborate instrumentals that not only evoke myriad emotions, but also reminds us of his technological prowess. Just over the album's hump, the house jam, "Julia Brightly," fills a gap and nothing much else. "Mars" reverts to the album's overall mood, which is brooding and introverted. Whether you want to pump it through a stereo system or relax with headphones, the latest release from Caribou delivers an intriguing experience.
It's not surprising that an album called Our Love is reflective. The content that Caribou has produced is as personal as it's always been, although it comes from a more mature perspective. It comes from a place of experience. While it's not entirely cohesive or psychedelic as the previous Swim, or as dramatically melodic as Andorra, Our Love is a document that encapsulates the experience of a romantic relationship.
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