The Dodos: No Color (Frenchkiss) | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
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The Dodos

No Color

Frenchkiss

Mar 16, 2011 Issue #35 - Winter 2011 - Death Cab for Cutie Bookmark and Share


The Dodos have found their Avatar. Visiter, their 2007 sophomore release, may have been their Titanic, putting them on the map. But two albums later, they are back with an opus that is so vividly three-dimensional, you don't need glasses (or headphones). The San Francisco duo's strength has always centered on a syncopated drumbeat that ropes its way into the body and around the heart. It sneaks into hidden pockets of their songs, shocking layers of guitar to life. Whereas Visiter had a more hollow, bare-boned core, and their 2009 follow-up, Time to Die, seemed calming in comparison, No Color fleshes out the feral percussion with layers of guitar. The gaps and holes in the songs are gone, yet the ear can still catch every nuance without feeling extra clutter.

More than ever, the tone of the new record is menacing. Meric Long's acoustic finger picking is coated with jarring bursts of electric fuzz. Simple vocal melodies are at the core of the best songs on No Color. "When Will You Go" is striking in its melancholy beauty. Logan Kroeber weaves a thumping backdrop to the verses, allowing them room to breathe, and aggressively thrashes forward between them. Long imitates Rodrigo y Gabriela's dexterous guitar playing on "Don't Stop" and "Companions," fingers flying across the strings like a flickering fire.

With every measure, The Dodos contradict the album's title. No Color has a bright vibrancy, a sense of movement rare in non-dance music. "Sleep" is the ultimate anthem for insomniacs, seemingly conveying the simultaneous frustrations and excitement of being awake long after everyone else. You get the idea these guys thrive on late-night ideas, channeling creative forces at odd hours. Rather than envisioning blue aliens, though, Long and Kroeber have found living, breathing incarnations of their musical compositions. And it's an otherworldly pleasure. (www.dodosmusic.net)

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10



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Mike
March 16th 2011
9:48am

This album looks promising, I’m excited to give it a listen.

alex hughes
March 17th 2011
6:19am

This review sounds way too positive to have just a 7/10 rating. At least talk about some negative things if you’re going to give it a “mixed” number rating.