Best Albums of 2014: Caribou, “Our Love”
Can’t do without you.
Love is a many splendored thing, and on his first Caribou record in four years, Dan Snaith is open and exploring the concept in all its myriad manifestations as far as he can. Our Love isn’t ostensibly about anything pop music hasn’t been continuously pursuing since its inception, but Snaith has broken through something exceptional in his execution and examination, making an inherently familiar topic seemingly brand new.
The deep and digging bass beats on “Silver” are as woozy and euphoric as being in the throes of love, and here Snaith is dazed from jealousy at the end of a relationship, equal parts nostalgic and sanguine, demonstrating melancholy and indifference nearly in the same thought: “You were in my dream last night / And I could see you kissing him,” he begins, before sharpening his tongue, delivering a bit sadly, “I wish I’d never met you / It doesn’t mean I can’t get over you / What are you doing to do without me tonight?” “Our Love” and “Can’t Do Without You” don’t bother with traditional narrative; Snaith simply repeats the songs’ only lyrics—“our love” and “can’t do without you,” respectively—and lets his delivery and evolving themes do all the explaining.
At heart, Our Love is also an electronic dance record and Snaith delivers and then some on the high expectations set by 2010’s Swim, echoing the drama of a crumbling affair with equally building swells and spectacular melodies on “Back Home” and using an atmospheric instrumental track (“Dive”) to transition to the Jessy Lanza–guesting “Second Chance.”
Love isn’t static, it’s all-encompassing and ever-changing, and on Our Love, Snaith has captured this concept into ten songs and created a pop record about intimacy that feels new, revelatory, and glorious—just like falling in love again.—Breanna Murphy