Tuesday, December 21, 2010

#30 Album Of 2010: Swim - Caribou


Merge Records.

Original SCQ Review

Electronic music entered 2010 with a sense of sophistication on the heels of anticipated records by Four Tet and The Sight Below, each boasting a refined, stately veneer. Now there’s nothing wrong with an exacting and textural approach – that is, as long as you haven’t heard Swim. Utilizing the same four-by-four dance beats that inspired There Is Love In You and It All Falls Apart, Caribou (Dan Snaith) had more of a challenge in mind than simply restraining his natural impulses, instead choosing to force euphoric dance rhythms into his uncompromising safari of frantic wood-winds and percussion spasms.

The resulting Swim reinforces just how Snaith is living up to his potential, slipping his most psychedelic and charming Caribou-attributes of yore into the dancefloor’s groovy fray. As with previous releases, Snaith knows when to dash forward and when to take a breather, as heard by his clever distribution of tight, vocal-driven pop tracks (‘Found Out’, ‘Odessa’) and cavernous, freeform rides into the unknown (‘Bowls’, ‘Sun’). More than just an irresistible piece of pop-art, Swim deserves recognition as Snaith’s most consistent album since Up In Flames.

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