Caribou – Suddenly: Album Review

Caribou return with another magnum opus in the form of Suddenly.

Released: 28th February 2020

Label: City Slang Records / Merge Records

Format: CD / LP / Digital

A little while ago Dan Snaith posted on his Instagram that he had donated a bunch of his old records and synths to an Oxfam in Hackney. Sadly I didn’t make it in time as my level of hip is far from competitive. But it did get me wondering if this could be foreshadowing for an all new kind of Caribou experience on the horizon? Fast forward to the somewhat sudden release of Suddenly and an answer to that question was provided.

No. This is Caribou through and through. Wall to wall hooks with all sundrenched bliss of his previous work, yet with a heightening of his pop sensibilities. Several of the best tracks on the album clock in at around the three minute mark, pointing at a laser focus from Snaith in getting to the epicenter of that Caribou sound. This is not to say he is locked in and unwavering, he has explored a multitude of other genres in his beatmaking here, before smothering it all in his own signature sound. Like I Love You takes on board elements of garage and Home is a groovy funk number that brings to mind Jamie XX’s 2015 album In Colour.

There is also a little more introspection and variety in the lyrics here than in his previous offerings, with Snaith exploring themes of loss and inner turmoil. Opener Sister is fairly downbeat by his standards but bubbling beneath there is always an overarching joy. At times not as big and bold as 2010’s Swim or 2015’s Our Love, Suddenly shows an evolution in Snaith, but thankfully not a complete reinvention. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Never Come Back is in my opinion the best song of the year so far. Still in the throes of a cold miserable winter, it gives the hope of spring and summer arguably more than those first blooming daffodils.

Suddenly feels like the final chapter of the story, where all the loose ends are tied up. Arguably at times not as thrilling as the previous couple of chapters but just as necessary and equally as accomplished. But let’s hope it isn’t his last book.

Caribou: Official Website / Twitter / Facebook / Instagram

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