Review Summary: The Dodos are a perfect little indie-folk band and are a pleasure to listen to
Have you ever been walking through a jewelry store looking for something to give to a loved one? Sure, there's the thousand dollar diamond encrusted yellow emerald glimmering on display, but what you really want is something genuine and beautiful. It takes some time to find it, but once you do, you know its the one. The Dodos are a perfect example of that little indie band that's not going to be quite as hyped up as its contemporaries - yet.
Headed by Meric Long, this duo plays indie music like its never been played before, mixing bluegrass and folk with thumping bass and transient vocals. Their list of influences is seemingly never ending. The clearly pronounced, yet never overbearing drum lines in "Red and Purple" bring to mind M.I.A's relentless beats. The ukelele and trumpet used in "Winter" almost sound as if they were played by Zach Condon of Beirut. Meric's guitar lines in "Paint the Rust" are certainly related to the guitars in any album made by The Eagles of Death Metal. "Jodi" has some math rock tendencies with its differing time signatures and syncopated guitar. In short, one can find any musical relationship they would like in this album.
Beginning with the banjo trilling in the albums first single "Walking", the album progresses into a fast paced, sublime mix of melancholy vocals and acoustic chord progressions. The album culminates on the fourth song, titled "Fools" but doesn't slouch one moment for the rest of the album. The lyrics are at times satirical, such as in "God?" where Meric sings "You lift us up then let us down/ We die, we die, we die," and at other times playful:
"It's that time again/ You want to leave me so I keep you home." His voice is not the best you've ever heard, or even one of the better ones, but it fits perfectly with the subdued feel of the album.
But best of all, listening to this album doesn't sound like you're listening to a serious, professionally made indie album (although the production values are spot on). It actually feels like you're back in kindergarden again, loaded with energy and a lust for life mixed with a few naps every now and then. This playful attitude is fused into the entire tracklist, with the most obvious example being "It's That Time Again" where repetitive cannon shots and trumpet backings sound like something out of a 5 year olds imagination, set in the civil war era. For all those who have had good memories of kindergarden, or just like good indie music, this album is a must listen.