“Our Love” by Caribou

October 07. 2014 | By Jay Raco

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Caribou
Our Love
[Merge Records]

Dan Snaith (Caribou) follows up 2010’s excellent effort, Swim, with an even more personal and powerful record with Our Love. Like The XX, James Blake, FKA Twigs, and fellow Canadian, Drake, the album successfully plays with and appropriates ’90s R&B.

A common criticism with electronic music is that it can be souless drone, but when it’s done right it can be more human than human, and Snaith nails it here.¬†The album hits all the pleasure points for the listener with personal, dark moody grooves all while still being totally danceable.

The title track is about the dependent relationship between Snaith and his 3-year-old daughter. Even though it comes across as sweet, he recently described that dependency as obsessive and dysfunctional. Yes, love is a complicated thing, and those complexities are what Snaith is interested in, and the driving force behind this record.¬†Juxtapositions abound. “Mars” has a flute and a sample of, “I put a milli on it.” There are a ton of hip-hop samples sprinkled throughout, generally in deep voices contrasting with Snaith singing at his high vocal register.

“Dive” is heavy and driving and is free of vocals and perfectly blends into “Second Chance,” which has Jessy Lanza sounding like the ghost of Aaliyah. The album blends past and future, classic instruments, and EDM beautifully, and is one of the strongest releases of the year.

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