Caribou – Suddenly



2020 – Electronic


In his new album, Caribou talks directly about delicate topics, however, the lyrics are not as deep as the instruments

Over the past few years, Caribou has found itself increasingly. At the beginning of his career, Andorra played with elements of pop from the 60s in a fun way, already in 2010, with the album Swim, Dan Snaith started to forget his range of creative ideas and began to focus on something more solid and direct. In 2014, the album Our Love made this direction more funneled, making Caribou discover his true goal: discover the essence of things. But even with all the changes, he never abandoned his main characteristics: instrumental predominance. Some people claim that over time, it made it better in musical art, others deny that fact and claim that it saturated in a negative way. But even with all that, Caribou came back with his new album: Suddenly

As was said, Caribou despite the changes that made him follow a single path, he remained with several characteristics, and one of the most striking is the lack of elaborate lyrics and instrumental predominance. And I think Suddenly’s worst mistake is this, we have few tracks that have lyrics that are not poor. In reality, it doesn’t bother me that there are fully instrumental tracks because most of the time these end up being better than some that have lyrics, like the case of “Filtered Grand Piano”, which features a piano all synthesized in transcendental effects; but tracks that have lyrics that show no effort by the artist to do something polished really blow me. And the best example of this is “Never Come Back” which has an extremely repetitive lyric. And as much as you have the notion that the lyrics are like this to have a reconciliation with the instrumental – which in reality is not a big thing either – the track ends up becoming quite nauseating.

But although some tracks didn’t have a deep or well-planned lyric, there were some of those tracks that ended up being quite enjoyable. “Like I Love You” is a letter to the ex-lover who is with another. He is happy but wonders with concern: “Does he do the things to you that I won’t do? / Does he love you like I used to do?”. The track sounds positively de-iced with all this mix of half Spanish guitar, electronic rap beats and a hint of pop synthesizers. Another track that deserves to be highlighted is the opening of the album, “Sister”. The track sounds like a remix of dark video game sounds as the singer talks about changes. Again, the track has a very simple lyrics, but the synthesizers that seem to come from a new dimension along with some chords made a very good combination. “You and I” talks about losses in a very tasty and brilliant beat. The climax moments of the tracks are the instrumental breaks that look like an instrumental mess mixing several layers of synthesized electronic instruments.

“Home”, if you doubt it, is the best on the entire album. Dan’s “Home” is crafted from a sample by Gloria Barnes. And despite being an extremely repetitive track, it is extremely pleasant to hear, captivating and addictive. It’s such a simple track, composed of a remix of Gloria’s voice with a beachy guitar and soft synthesizers in the background, but so excellent. “New Jane” also has the same tools: remixed voices that enrich the instrumental. The track talks about a woman who breaks free from an abusive relationship while that remixed voice plays alongside terrifying synths and preparations, and Spanish string chords. However, although the track is a little bit cool it is not something that is catchy. “Cloud Song”, the last track, presents the best progression of the entire album: in the beginning, notes of appreciation, in the end, a whirlwind of emotions. And the most interesting thing is that the track doesn’t seem to have 7 minutes. Its progression, development and process were so well done that at no time did I feel tired of the track.

And of course, there were tracks that didn’t captivate me at all. “Sunny’s Time” is a bore: at first a boring piano that breaks into a rap beat that is no big deal either. “Lime” has a slightly confusing lyrics and an instrumental that, despite being a little danceable and exotic, ends up being quite boring too. “Ravi” looks just like a sample of electronic music where we have a very generic beat in the background with some different occasional elements. And finally, although “Magpie” is a tribute and has lyrics until well worked on Julia Brightly’s death, the sound effects did not add much. In general, these tracks are very boring and have very weak lyrics and end up being very uninteresting and forgettable.

In short, Suddenly is a very good album, all the songs have a very well done instrumental despite not having very well written lyrics. There are excellent tracks like “Home” and “You And I” that are very captivating in the instrumental – and I would say that even in the lyrics although they are not that good. However, there are tracks that have no lyrics and are also very good as “Filtered Grand Piano”. And of course, there are also very unnecessary tracks like “Ravi” that ended up being quite forgettable. There are excellent moments where we have this kind of postmodern industrial jazz and totally spiritual pop, but there are moments where we have a sample of night clubs. However, despite its few defects, Suddenly turned out to be very good.

LISTEN ON: Apple Music, Spotify and Tidal

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