With the release of their 4th studio album No Color, The Dodos return to their original sound of indie folk goodness. The groups last effort, Time to Die, released in 2009, did not quite live up to expectations after the duos stellar sophomore album Visiter. Many blamed the fact that a third member was introduced, however the production of the album should be to blame. Not diminishing Phil Ek, longtime collaborator to The Shins, Fleet Foxes, and Built to Spill, and his producing abilities but Time to Die was more pop than the indie folk that worked on previous albums.
The Dodos are back as a duo with original members, Meric Long on lead vocals and guitars while Logan Kroeber plays the drums and other percussion instruments. They have also brought back previous production to No Color. This record’s title can be misleading as The Dodos bring much color, at least musically speaking, and energy in all nine tracks.
No Color is opened with “Black Night”, the album’s first single, a continuous collection of drums and acoustic guitar that creates a feeling of anticipation for what is to come. “Sleep,” is a true gem that fuses upbeat acoustic guitars, occasional piano keys, a strings section and oh yeah, that continuous thumping of Logan Kroeber’s drums that are reminiscent of a heartbeat. Meric Long’s signature croons have worked well for the Dodos in the past and the album is no different. A dynamic collaboration with Neko Case on “Don’t Try And Hide It,” shows just what I mean.
With each song Long and Kroeber create the anticipation that was mentioned before but also each song sound as legitimate rock songs. The traditional ballad is not to be forgotten and with a fitting title, “Companions” is the true ballad on this record. Dodos have once again provided us with solid indie music. Don’t get me wrong, Time to Die was not terrible by any means. It is nice to see when a band returns to what made them great in the first place and with No Color, and The Dodos have done just that.
LISTEN: “Black Night”
WPGU Music Staff Rating: W-P-½
Key Tracks: “Black Night”, “Companions”, and “Sleep”.
Recommended if you like: The Morning Benders, Grizzly Bear, and Bowerbirds.
W = Poor
W-P = Fair
W-P-G = Great
W-P-G-U = An instant classic!