Sound — 7
American indie rock group The Dodos are making their way back into the music scene with their fifth studio album, "Carrier." The Dodos were first founded back in San Francisco, California in 2005, and the rock group soon began to work on their debut EP. In the initial period following the release of their EP "Dodo Bird" and the band's first studio album "Beware of the Maniacs," the band went under the name Dodo Bird. Their debut album began to make a significant impact with both fans and critics, and fans soon began referring to the band as "The Dodos." The name eventually stuck, the band adopted the name for themselves and only went up from there.
Since the release of their debut studio album, The Dodos have released several subsequent records, headlined multiple music festivals, and have shown gradual success on the US Billboard Charts. Unlike some present indie rock artists, The Dodos have never taken large risks when it comes to updating, or "evolving" their traditional sound. When it comes to the band's recently released fifth studio album, "Carrier," the case isn't any different. The Dodos deliver a collection of enjoyably traditional sounding songs that any music follower that originally picked up the band's earlier albums will be able to easily enjoy.
The song "Confidence" begins with a finger picked middle eastern-style guitar piece, immediately we are back into comfortable Dodos territory. The instrumental work is soon joined by vocalist Meric Long, who sings a colorful melody. A minute into the track and the rest of the band kicks into full gear, with percussion playing and paired vocal harmonies being thrown into the mix of sound. "The Ocean" is a song that features some dominant acoustic guitar playing and an emotion fueled lead vocal performance.
Throughout each of the new compositions included with "Carrier," you are immediately hit with familiar elements, chord progressions and sounds that established fans will be able to appreciate. The band's acoustic driven style is also light enough for any classic rock follower to be able to enjoy. With each song in the track listing, each musical component works together flawlessly and makes for a relaxed listening experience, and in the end leaves very little to complain about.
Lyrics — 8
Lead vocalist Meric Long gives a noteworthy performance all throughout "Carrier." The rest of a band's instrumental execution could be dead on accurate with the style previously featured on their earlier releases. But in the majority of cases the lead vocalist in a band is the musician that listeners connect most with, and so a lot of weight is placed on the singer's shoulders to drive an album home, to be the main factor that makes your new album shine as bright as your previous critically acclaimed releases. Meric Long does exactly this on "Carrier"; it is his emotion fueled vocal performance on "Confidence" and "Holidays" that turns these songs from exceptional acoustic rock pieces into instant Dodos classics.
Overall Impression — 8
The Dodos stays true to their established acoustic driven style through a proud collection of eleven new traditional sounding studio compositions. No matter where you set the needle on "Carrier," you will find a song that is built to please any fan of the band's earlier work.
This is an album that only gets better with each additional listen, and comes highly recommended to any classic rock follower.