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Caribou Suddenly

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'Going soft' is a charge that most musicians would despise being levelled with. Not Canadian artist Dan Snaith however, who seems to have embraced it on Suddenly, his fifth album released under the name Caribou. This new collection of tracks thematically follows his last record, Our Love, by focusing on the universally accessible subjects of family and romance through a series of relatable vignettes.

Snaith, who has also variously recorded as Manitoba and Daphni, openly acknowledged that 2014's Our Love represented a tonal shift towards more sentimental, reflective work brought about by the birth of his daughter. It's arguably even more palpable in his use of nostalgic riffs and emotive lyrics here.

Caribou's passion for his craft [...] is evident

Caribou's passion for his craft - he once created some 700 songs for a previous album before having to whittle them down to nine - is evident in his delicate selection of samples. Released as a single in December, 'Home' is one of the standouts here and features a gorgeous sped-up sample of an obscure 1970s Gloria Barnes song of the same name.

The earworm 'Never Come Back' recalls the kind of low-key bangers like 'Odessa' for which Snaith made his name over a decade ago. Occasionally the repetitiveness of the samples can grate, as on 'Sunny's Time' and 'New Jade', but the more minimalist tracks where the samples are allowed to breathe, such as 'Magpie' and 'Lime', are strong highlights.

Dan Rawley

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