Our Love is the seventh studio album to be released by Canadian musician, composer and recording artist Daniel Snaith and the third to be released under his moniker Caribou. Four years after his previous outing Swim, Snaith claimed that the primary impulse on Our Love “was to make something that was generous in the sense that it was for everybody, not just for me locked in a studio by myself”.
It is safe to say that Caribou has succeeded in this regard – creating experimental electronica that is so warm it can be embraced by anybody and not just within the hipster circles where he is revered. Some would say that this is where the album falls down, that Caribou has left his psychedelic quirkiness to the side and embraced a sound that seems dumbed down for live performance. Others would claim the album represents a collective rainbow of all his previous works with each album and EP representing a colour in this eclectic mix. It purely depends upon where you stand as a music lover.
Onto the album proper and the obvious standout in this effort is the surging and euphoric ‘Can’t Do Without You’, the opening track which sets the precedent for the rest of the album. The song is remarkably compelling and Disclosure-esque with a cheeky blend of the Chemical Brothers. However where Disclosure go for more pop aspects in their materiel, Caribou favours ambiguity. The track is also vaguely reminiscent of the song ‘Spanish Sahara’ by Foals in the way it is built up but thankfully it never strays into the bass drop that had become the standard for mainstream electronic dance music in the past eighteen months. ‘Julia Brightly’ actively emulates this euphoria emitting from ‘Can’t Do Without You’ on the home stretch of the album.
Snaith’s vocals in this album invoke closeness to the listener not experienced in Swim. His falsetto pervades ‘All I Ever Need’ which teases to be an outright pop song before just falling short. Soulful vocalist Jessy Lanza was recruited as a collaborator on the album and lends her talents to ‘Second Chance’, a purposefully disjointed effort which winds up sounding mysteriously similar to FKA Twigs.
‘Silver’ encapsulates the essence of the album in full. Both remain an ambitious concoction of synths, reverse-loops and organic instrumentation that morphs itself into one of the most impressive things Caribou has ever put out.
By Micheál O’ Brien.