Switching sounds from album-to-album, first as Manitoba then post lawsuit as Caribou, Dan Snaith has for the most part been on the mark, with every album driven by catchy hooks and stellar production. The short answer to the question is that Caribou’s latest record “Swim” is good. Very good. What is noticeably disappointing, though, is that Snaith trades in the psyche hooks and heavy beats of 2007’s “Andorra” for a more, dare I say it, disco sound that isn’t quite as appealing. At its best, “Swim,” which is inspired by water’s inherent quality of flowing in constant movements, sounds like a more produced and synthetic – meaning less live arrangements – version of Phoenix.

At its worst, the record sounds like you are listening to KCRW’s Chocolate City, and every song just sort of morphs into the next with no apparent ending. It’s hard to say that this record is a complete miss, because it’s not. The production is still phenomenal and, if played on huge speakers, “Swim” will definitely keep you out on the dance floor, particularly if you happen to have taken any little pills. Overall, however, it kind of just leaves you pining for the lysergic-laced sounds of its predecessor.

Words: Alex Roman

“Swim” by Caribou
Merge Records
April, 20, 2010

Listen to “Odessa” by Caribou

“Swim” Tracklisting:
1. Odessa
2. Sun
3. Kaili
4. Found Out
5. Bowls
6. Leave House
7. Hannibal
8. Lalibela
9. Jamelia

Caribou Tour Dates:
05.03: Toronto, ON – Phoenix
05.04: Ottawa, ON – Babylon
05.05: Montreal, PQ – Tulipe
05.06: Boston, MA – Middle East Downstairs
05.07: Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall
05.08: New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom
05.09: Philadelphia, PA – First Unitarian
05.10: Washington, DC – Rock ‘n Roll Hotel
05.11: Charlottesville, VA – Jefferson
05.12: Chapel Hill, NC – Cat’s Cradle
05.13: Atlanta, GA – The Earl
05.14: Baton Rouge, LA – Spanish Moon
05.15: Houston, TX – Warehouse Live Studio
05.16: Austin, TX – Emo’s
05.18: Phoenix, AZ – Clubhouse
05.19: Los Angeles, CA – El Rey
05.20: San Diego, CA – Casbah
05.21: Mexico City, MX – Teatro Fru Fru
05.24: San Francisco, CA – Independent
05.26: Portland, OR – Hawthorne
05.28: Victoria, BC – Sugar
05.29: Vancouver, BC – Rickshaw
05.30: George, WA – Sasquatch
05.31: Calgary, AB – Republik
06.01: Edmonton, AB – Starlite
06.02: Saskatoon, SK – Amigo’s
06.03: Winnipeg, MB – Royal Albert Arms
06.04: Minneapolis, MN – 7th Street Entry
06.05: Davenport, IA – Rock Island Brewing Company
06.07: St. Louis, MO – Firebird
06.08: Louisville, KY – Zanzabar
06.09: Cleveland, OH – Grog Shop
06.10: Hamilton, ON – Casbah
06.11: Halifax, NS – Paragon