Caribou - Swim
Eyebrows were raised in 2008 when Caribou's Andorra came out of seemingly nowhere to snatch up the Polaris Music Prize. This week the group returned with what has become a highly anticipated follow-up Swim.
Fans of indie electronic music won't be disappointed. Caribou take an atypical route from the get-go. The album opener and lead single "Odessa" features warped, muted beats pumping within a jangly outer shell. Bright synths parade across "Sun", coming across as an update on Booker T & the MGs-style organs. A jazzy saxophone floats along, almost in its own world on "Kaili", while a mystical chime fuels "Bowls".
Unlike a lot of electronic music, the vocals aren't simple toss-offs. For the most part these vocals are on the understated side, however, they play a crucial role in advancing the musical narrative as well as supporting the focal sound.
Eventually though, the beats all begin to blend in with one another. By the time "Hannibal" thumps through your speakers one gets the feeling that the tracks are getting monotonous, overstaying their welcome more and more quickly.
In the end, an electronic album that is riveting from start to finish is next to impossible to make. The fact that Caribou did it once and put in another solid effort this time around is probably far more than fans could ever hope for.
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