a request from my sister
Dan Snaith's UP IN FLAMES (recorded under the name Manitoba) was a surprise critical hit in 2003, and proved Snaith not only conversant with noise-heavy trance rock, electronica, and arty indie pop, but capable of synthesizing these elements with a vibrant, postmodern flair that brought something new to the mix. Two years and a name change later, Snaith (recording now under the name Caribou) reappeared with THE MILK OF HUMAN KINDNESS. On it he raises the bar significantly, widening his stylistic palette, opening up his productions, adding layers of percussion and effects, and creating a work of beauty and individuality.
MILK is quite atmospheric, with swaths of organic psychedelia, digital ambience, shoegazer guitar swirl, and metronomic, Kraut rock-inspired groove (the latter, especially, on "A Final Warning" and "Bees"). Snaith's vocal tracks fit nicely alongside the instrumentals. The restrained verses of "Yeti," the album's gentle-aggressive opener, and the minor-key folk drone in "Hello Hammerheads" somehow complement the hip-hop music box collages of "Lord Leopard" and "Narrow Pelicans." While this may all sound like random, stylistic overload on paper, the overall result--a pulsing, multi-textured, artfully conducted mind-ride--makes for an extremely rewarding listen.