The Dodos
Time to Die



by Ryan Flatley EMERITUS
August 10th, 2009 | 14 replies

Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Dodos resonate an intriguing, altered sound in a continuously enjoyable listen in Time To Die

Last year, Visiter brought listeners an endearing, emotionally fragile side of The Dodos. With each heart wrenching and soul crushing line, The Dodos began to garner significant attention to their tamper-free folk/indie-pop sound, all of which may have been caught within the first hook of “Walking.” Vister was intricate, yet free of any demanding interpretation. One year later, Time To Die showcases a rather frightening, yet heavy side of The Dodos while retaining some characteristics that have made Beware Of The Maniacs and Visiter so fresh and attractive. With the amplifier turned on and the focus geared towards more worldly issues, The Dodos increase their intensity once again. Just don’t expect to fall headfirst for Time To Die’s theme.

From the start, electric strums and booming drum hits lay out what is forthcoming for “Small Deaths” and much of Time To Die. As noted before, The Dodos have shifted towards a more boisterous sound, whether it is bouncing along during “Two Medicines” or underneath the harmonies highlighted during “Fables.” Elsewhere you will hear newly acquainted vibraphonist Keaton Snyder providing a hint of pizzazz as his vibraphone supports each harmony and hastily clean strum arrangement. The chaos that ensues with each riff is magnificent; as each chord is played with such force and yet spot-on precision. Vocally, Long executes his standard yelps from afar such as the ‘go!’ in “Longforms” that are so subtly and passionately necessary.

However, while the overall sound is adventurous, sometimes I want to rip the cord right out from Long’s amplifier or his acoustic-electric guitar. The problem is rather minimal, but for most of the record ‘the problem’ is a full throttled effort. It makes past epic transitions like Visiter’s “Joe’s Waltz” more desirable since it began as this cutesy, dark acoustic riff, but with each measure it built until the distortion was slowly heard through the amp. This compares most notably to “Small Deaths” but without the au-naturel beginning to present a commanding change (volume excluded). But Time To Die finds ways to create that new twist, such as “Acorn Factory,” that stays soft, but never whimpers as strolls so swiftly.

Lyrically, Meric Long morbidly singing about the threat that is global warming with colorful lines such as ‘we'll be wading in its wake/sifting through old men in their place.’ And thus, it begins the littered messages of the perils and strife of our present world. Such topics highlighted within the album stem from the mockery of the business world to our wayward pharmaceutical habits. The problems are real and downright scary (yet obvious to many), but Long plays each line to feed each owns curiosity. And that brings full circle to the title song, “A Time To Die.” Teasingly and unafraid, Long triumphantly sings ‘it’s time to die’ that essentially accepts our doomed fate. And as the track slowly engulfs listeners with each snare tap, “A Time To Die” expels the sediments that boiled throughout the entire album of a hopeless despair.

Still, with every completed listen of Time To Die, Vister’s “Walking” follows after, and it reminds me of how completely stripped and elegantly natural The Dodos once sounded. It is as if Meric Long’s amplifier is the worst thing to ever happen to Time To Die. That is, of course, not to discount how well the album plays as a whole, but the ‘what if?’ question boldly looms. Time To Die has its heart in the right place, but the product is not as nearly lovable. Even so, Meric Long and company have an undoubtedly intriguing new sound and they are consistently stringing great passages, and one cannot fault Time To Die for that.

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user ratings (81)
other reviews of this album
Lewis P. (4)
The kind of album you like the first time you hear it and pretty much after every subsequent listen....

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Comments:Add a Comment 
Electric City
Staff Reviewer
August 10th 2009


Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

we are in complete agreement here my friend

August 11th 2009


so gotta get this

August 11th 2009


aren't Dodos extinct?

August 11th 2009


This is a bit different like you say to Visiter and Beware of the Maniacs and it doesn't really hold up to them. Still a great record in itself though I guess.

August 13th 2009


The Visiter was a pretty overlooked record, at least from what i can tell and from where i live. I'll be getting this soon

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
August 13th 2009


Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

really surprised people aren't caring more about this

August 13th 2009


People only checked out 'Visiter' because it got a high rating from several staff and had a great album cover. This has a horrible cover and isn't getting quite as much praise.

August 14th 2009


if people are seriously not listening to this because of the cover... then i'm probably just going to end it all now life isn't worth living anymore

August 14th 2009


ew look at that album cover it's so bad it must be reflective of the overall quality of the music

and the dodos what a shit band name they don't even exist anymore jesus christ

August 14th 2009


Album Rating: 3.5

I can listen to the first and last song all day

August 19th 2009


really surprised people aren't caring more about this

people are gay tbh. this rules

August 20th 2009


I really want to get this.

August 25th 2009


Album Rating: 4.0

this is awesome

December 3rd 2010


Pretty poor.
I mean, all this album made me do is want to hear more of Visiter. :/
I mean, I respect those who like this, but it came across as lazy for me.

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