Caribou's last album Swim won him a lot of new fans, the way he blended dance music styles in an organic way enabled him to bring music fans from a wide spectrum together in his celebration of warm electronic music cultivated from his experience DJing.
Sonically Our Love is a continuation of that same journey, far closer in style to his previous album than his normal for Dan Swain, who far more often changes direction between releases. This album is a much more personal one however, consistently focused on aspects of human relationships, good and bad, and presumably to a certain extent channeling the highs and lows Swain has himself experienced.
Things start with early single Can't Do Without You, which remains Caribou's most instantly welcoming track and is a confident highlight of the album. A whirlwind of baggy rhythms, soaring synths and deep electronic grooves, there is something irresistibly honest about it as a piece of music. Incessant, obsessive and utterly devoted, Snaith's vocals nag nag nag: "I can't do without you... You're the only thing I think about..." Never has a piece of music landed so smack bang in the middle of painting the haunting and overwhelming feeling of love and sense of connection artificially enhanced by MDMA.
Not all of Our Love is as positive... All I Ever Need is the flip-side of such a strong state of neediness - the feeling of dependence on someone not as interested in your happiness so much as their own. Silver portrays a story of break-up, Snaith representing someone leaving their lover despite a series of nagging thoughts that maybe he is the one being left behind. The vocals on these tracks weave into the music itself, which bubbles with a level of detail and feeling only possible with analogue equipment.
Second Chance features a guest vocal from fellow Canadian musician and R&B star Jessy Lanza, who creates a sultry moment of exposed femininity that mirrors Snaith's own. It is one of the most pop moments of the record, and you can hear Lanza's own style blending with Caribou's on this analogue heavy R&B house track.
There are also a number of mostly instrumental tracks on the album, whether the introspective shoe-gazing Dive or the most uptempo numbers such as Mars and Julia Brightly. The latter proves to be another of Our Love's highlights, a fizzy energetic tribute to Caribou's sound engineer, who died earlier this year... It's a touching and moving moment that pays tribute without any excessive sentimentality.
Our Love ends with Your Love Will Set You Free - a melancholic middle-of-the-night bought of exposed emotional vulnerability... Vocals mourn regretfully a love left behind, perhaps that same one depicted in Silver. It is a sad and reflective close, but the final repeated lines - 'your love will set you free' - offer a little solace, or at least a little blind hope.
As an album, Our Love is an emphatic testament to not just one love, but what it is to be human and what it is to love whoever it is you need to most. The roller coaster contained within reflects all the energy and fatigue and excitement and uncertainty that comes with the most profound of our emotions.