Caribou The Milk of Human Kindness

[Domino/Leaf; 2005]

Styles: electronica, psychedelic, krautrock, IDM
Others: Four Tet, Can, Neu!, Boards of Canada

Dan Snaith has a Ph.D. He's a smart motherfucker. How else can you describe his new album, The Milk of Human Kindness? Only a Ph.D. could take a forced name change (from Manitoba to Caribou) and get more press coverage than was received for his last album, Up In Flames. Only a Ph.D. can blatantly name-check the influences for his new album, borrow from them liberally, and still come out with something vibrant and original. And that's exactly what he's done here. Milk will be one of the bigger indie-esque albums of 2005. It's a smart album to say the least. Say you like Animal Collective's efforts on Sung Tongs but feel the music itself is a bit lacking... Caribou's got you covered ("Brahminy Kite" and "Hello Hammerheads"). Say you dig Can and the whole German kraut rock scene but want something a bit more polished and melodic... Caribou's taken care of you, too ("Bees," "Barnowl," and "A Final Warning"). Or maybe you just wish Snaith stuck to his electronic psychedelia and beat science that worked so well on Up in Flames... Caribou hasn't forgotten you either ("Yeti" and "Pelican Narrows"). Snaith covers a lot of bases on The Milk of Human Kindness and somehow it all works. Interspersed with the above-mentioned tracks are minute-long interludes, which are largely throwaways -- in some cases throwing off the album's progression. But overall, Snaith gives the listener an album that's hard not to like, at least in one way or another.

1. Yeti
2. Subotnick
3. A Final Warning
4. Lord Leopard
5. Bees
6. Hands First
7. Hello Hammerheads
8. Brahminy Kite
9. Brumheller
10. Pelican Narrows
11. Barnowl