Monday, August 21, 2006
Caribou--Start Breaking My Heart (2006)
Album-Start Breaking My Heart
Release Date-May 9, 2006
Biography-by Kingsley Marshall Dan Snaith's early recordings as Manitoba underlined his status among the chattering electronic classes as one of the brightest talents to emerge during the early 2000s. Having already proved himself master of the sublime with his 2000 debut EP, People Eating Fruit, the Canadian's subsequent Paul's Birthday EP opened him out even further. After moving to London, he released an excellent second album (Up in Flames) in 2003 that saw him become a darling of critics. One year later, however, Snaith was forced to give up the name Manitoba after Dictators frontman Handsome Dick Manitoba sued for trademark infringement (despite the passing of 15 years since the release of the only material under his name, a 1990 LP by Manitoba's Wild Kingdom). Snaith renamed his project Caribou, his two previous full-lengths were reissued under the new monicker, and he released his first new Caribou record, The Milk of Human Kindness, in May 2005 for Domino.
Review-by Dean Carlson Caribou's Start Breaking My Heart is closer to Elliott Smith than Coldcut, and about as stable as a bull in a china shop full of unheard copies of Kid A, but this is the sort of production that niftily stands for modern solo melancholiacs with more to offer than a co-option of Warp back catalogs and egregious MOR. Responsibility for Start goes to Toronto's Dan Snaith, a twenty-something musician whose work is both technical enough for scholastic jazz ears and organic enough for acoustic traditionalists. Beats spring about but don't go all clickety-spangly. Homespun tunes swoon and sway but never whine. The work here is so good that you no longer eternally have to connect the words "classically trained" with pompous incompetence. [Originally released in 2001, Start Breaking My Heart was subsequently re-released after legal action from Handsome Dick Manitoba forced Snaith to change his billing from Manitoba to Caribou.]
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