Caribou The Milk Of Human Kindness on LP + CD
Dan Snaith is a Canadian musician now based in London, who has recorded as Manitoba, Caribou and Daphni. Snaith initially recorded under the name Manitoba, but changed to Caribou in 2004 under threat of a lawsuit by Richard "Handsome Dick" Manitoba, formerly of punk band The Dictators.
It’s hard to believe it’s been twelve years since Snaith released his first album as Manitoba back in the spring of 2001. In fact, April 2013 marks the tenth anniversary of his breakthrough album Up in Flames, still the biggest selling album in The Leaf Label’s history. To celebrate, Leaf is re-releasing his first three albums, making them available on vinyl for the first time in years. All copies will also include a CD of the album.
As a result of the aforementioned well-documented lawsuit, Snaith was obliged to change his artist name to Caribou, which was first used for the release of 2005’s The Milk of Human Kindness. Start Breaking My Heart and Up in Flames will be available for the first time under the Caribou name, with fully restored album artwork, while The Milk of Human Kindness will be an exact reproduction of the original vinyl release.
Each of the three Manitoba/Caribou albums is highly distinctive. Start Breaking My Heart (2001) rivaled the likes of Boards of Canada for exquisite melodies and a yearning sense of nostalgia, while the critical and commercial leap forward of Up In Flames (2003) was like being unleashed in an unparalleled, magical fairyland of riotous, ecstatic sound.
The first thing you notice about The Milk of Human Kindness is the emotional depth and range. The bear masks are off, the naked passions are running free. Like a lost album that’s just been rediscovered in a basement for the first time since 1973, it’s part reflective, campfire-comedown, part rampage of sonic discovery, reveling in energy and motion.
Rather than a rainbow blur, the album’s sounds are distinctive and dynamic. From the carnival-esque whirl of ridiculous melodies, effusive noise, stampeding beats and furiously harmonized vocals of first single "Yeti," then veering from insanely loud and aggressive bursts ("Hands First"), to military tattoos, unexpected showers of Indian bells ("Brahminy Kite"), and almost renaissance-style hip-hop laced with blissful piano melodies ("Lord Leopard," "Pelican Narrows"), free-spirited musical abandon abounds.
Some parts sound old-fashioned. "Bees" could be played by weathered bluesmen battling divorce and the taxman. "Barnowl" (released as an ultra-limited one-sided 12" single) sounds like as blissful a rhapsody as has ever been committed to tape. Dan sings on five tracks, revealing a vulnerable side on the vocal harmony-led album centerpiece, "Hello Hammerheads," which finds him getting alone and intimate on acoustic guitar.
Caribou The Milk Of Human Kindness Track Listing:
3. A Final Warning
4. Lord Leopard
6. Hands First
7. Hello Hammerheads
8. Brahminy Kite
10. Pelican Narrows