- Audio CD (May 3, 2005)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Import
- Label: Domino
- ASIN: B0007ZSH4O
- Average Customer Review: 15 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #302,177 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
Milk of Human Kindness
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The Milk of Human Kindness
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The first record after changing the band's name from MANITOBA to CARIBOU, DAN SNAITH delivers a heavy set of his most developed music to date, touching on influences as distinct and impressive as Neu! and Soft Machine. Full of life and tasteful production/instrumentation, this art record's got antlers, though still progresses like a more delicate animal.
Dan Snaith's Manitoba project is back with a new name but his hypnotic music hasn't changed. Caribou, like Manitoba, is still heavy on electronic jam sessions, with peculiar swirls of sound and stoned instrumental wanderings leading you who-knows-where. The Milk of Human Kindness also has that faint whisp of 60s bubblegum pop (see "Bees") and Stereolab-like drone present on Manitoba records like Up In Flames. Such reference points provide welcome toeholds in the midst of all the laptop anarchy, preventing the whole thing from drifting off into the ether. Snaith puts a few other twists on Milk, with mixed success. On the plus side, the sharp opener "Yeti" is a quick burst of fun, while "Lord Leopard" knocks up the beat a notch toward hip-hop territory. The lamentable "A Final Warning," however, falls off the deep end into an almost comedic dead-end. Still, Snaith continues to show off boundless creativity, and when he conjures the right mix of chaos and cohesion like he does on "Brahminy Kite," the result is a glorious noise all his own. Matthew Cooke
Top customer reviews
Caribou, once Manitoba, have done with "electronica" what Zepplin did with "guitar music," what Christie did with "mystery novels," what Aronofsky did with "independent film." If electricity is the medium, then Caribou has sculpted everything from splintery lightning bolts ("A Final Warning") to the hum of static cling ("Drumheller"). "The Milk of Human Kindness" is truly poetic, an artistic realization made of ones and zeroes.
The only consistent thread of the songs is their all-encompassing ingenuity. Each track is a neural brainstorm, an unpredictable crackle of musical static, but none of them sound the same. "Pelican Narrows" is an eerily patient organ-and-bells number. "Bees" is a clean-n-muddy retro-pop ditty. "Hello Hammerheads," "Yeti," and "Barnowl" play with finger cymbals, off-key humming, and restless commercial noise to make songs that are playfully aggressive, aural acrobatics that are amazing but not showy, just great music.
It's too bad the album is so short because, as the saying goes, time flies when you're having fun. The record is barely forty minutes long, but you'll swear it's ten; that's how good it is. Maybe next time Caribou can give us an entire gallon of that "milk," instead of just one tantalizing pint.
I loved the album from start to finish, and cannot skip a track.
"Yeti" is the perfect start to the album with the yawning voice and snappy beats. While I enjoy the hip-hop flavor in the track "Lord Leopard", it's perhaps the keen piano style loop that does it for me and keeps me enthused 3 tracks in. From "Bees" to "Brahminy Kite" I am kept contented and feeling well fed of the musical smorgasbord he has delivered thus far.
Then he gives us "Drumheller"...and having lived in Edmonton for 4 years, and have been to Drumheller...ooh half a dozen times, the beats and style he gives you on the c.d. are almost that of the sound of that place, itself. Sad sounding, depressing, but alive, and self preserving, it hits home. He ends off on "Barnowl" and he keeps us full with his dessert ending, playfully reserved, closer.
In all, Dan Snaith is a musical genius and I think that music has found it's new modern day Mozart of Lo-Fi music, and I have a feeling he could go down in the books like Mr. Mozart himself.
With this new album, Snaith has closed the circle, bringing back the hip-hop and dance aspects of "Give'r" while reinvigorating the folk-rock with clearer vocals and more live instrumentation. One of the things that I was disappointed with in the previous record was the lack of variation throughout the album, but here that problem has disappeared. The presence of some pretty damn funky interludes helps to split apart the spaced-out folk tunes into more discreet chunks. While there is still plenty of sprawling wall-of-sound rock, the mix is tighter and the song structures more focused. I've compared this band to the Beta Band and Beck before, but now it is clear that the torch that those two have dropped has been picked up by Caribou. This is his best album, yet, in my opinion.
By the way, the live show that this band puts on is blistering. I mean BLISTERING, they rock out and have great animations. That's why I listen to this record very loudly.
Most recent customer reviews
My bent is largely older music; sixties/seventies stuff.
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