Milk Does a Dan Snaith Good
Caribouâ€šÃ„Ã´s (aka Dan Snaith) The Milk of Human Kindness is a relative departure from 2003â€šÃ„Ã´s fantastical Up in Flames (when Dan was known as Manitoba). As opposed to a pop sound-collage for the A.D.D. generation, this album is a more minimal affair, with emphasis on texture and extended soundscapes that slowly evolve into sonic frenzies. It is still fantastical, just more humble in nature. The layers of sound are present, but they reveal themselves more slowly and subtly this time around. The circus flavored opener, â€šÃ„ÃºYeti,â€šÃ„Ã¹ picks up where Manitoba left off. Unlike most songs found on Up in Flames, the reduction of scale and heavier repetition gives this song a much more numbing effect. â€šÃ„ÃºA Final Warningâ€šÃ„Ã¹ is a warm, cosmic trek that includes vocal nonsense and Can-influenced polyrhythms. â€šÃ„ÃºBarnowl,â€šÃ„Ã¹ the closer, is easily the albumâ€šÃ„Ã´s shining moment. It takes everything that made Up in Flames great, and condenses it into a six minute, fairly stripped-down freak-out. Wonderful noises decorate the song, while nervous vocals provide sincerity and warmth.
Even amidst all of the exciting experimentation, there are a few missteps. â€šÃ„ÃºPelican Narrowsâ€šÃ„Ã¹ is semi-redeemable with its fluid pianos and haunting atmosphere, but it does nothing to enhance the albumâ€šÃ„Ã´s progressive drive. â€šÃ„ÃºBrahminy Kiteâ€šÃ„Ã¹ is the only song that nearly conforms to a conventional structure. Itâ€šÃ„Ã´s bouncy, entertaining, and weird, but if you are familiar with the late-60s electronic duo The Silver Apples, it’s just a plain knock-off.
The more focused, no less experimental The Milk of Human Kindness is the perfect follow-up to the grandiose, sometimes out of control Up in Flames. Perhaps the changing of monikers only helped to encourage evolution.