Saturday, February 3, 2018

Daphni - Joli Mai Review

Typically, for successful artists there comes a time, either before their peak or after, where the musical output pales in comparison to what they've achieved before or since. Rarely do the two intertwine, but with Dan Snaith they're as clearcut as they come. His Caribou persona, lush, engaging, and momentous, has received heaps of critical acclaim, whether it's for 2007's Andorra, 2010's Swim, or 2014's Our Love. And then there's Daphni, an exploration into the dance-floor grooves found fizzling underneath pieces in the aforementioned projects. However, if Joli Mai is any indication, Snaith's principles of artistry and expression go down the drain the minute he dons the DJ moniker full-time. Nearly every aspect of this LP is lacking in some way, with much of the production sounding cheap, unimaginative, and amateur.

The best example of this is the pitiful three-song stretch spanning 'Hey Drum,' 'Medellin,' and 'Joli Mai.' You needn't listen to the entire 17-minutes, just scan a few seconds of each, noticing the absurd similarities between the drums, and more importantly, how they're utilized. 'Medellin' and 'Joli Mai' in particular should have never been sandwiched together, whereas 'Hey Drum' looms above the rest as worst track thanks to some elementary vocal sampling that lasts far, far too long. A few tracks, like 'Xing Tian' and 'Vikram,' borrow influence from some foreign landscapes, but even their repetition bores as there's nothing rhythmically or melodically-appealing to attract to. Want a better imagination testing those waters? Try Clap! Clap!'s projects, either Tayi Bebba or this year's A Thousand Skies. While Joli Mai disappoints throughout, either from lackluster ideas or Techno-induced tedium, the finale, of course, rectifies that with a bright, shimmering, melodious party anthem in 'Life’s What You Make It.' It's pretty, and resembles the kaleidoscopic colors of the cover, something no other song can attest to.


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