It’s been four albums now and we have a pretty good handle on what the Dodos are capable of. Gradually, Meric Long and Logan Kroeber have developed a sound defined by Long’s ability to attack his acoustic guitar. That remains unique, even five years after the release of their debut, Beware of the Maniacs. Now, on No Color, more elements have entered into the production, and the result is a broad, sonically diverse album.
Where previously the band stuck to their basic acoustic-guitar-and-drums formula, with an occasional toy piano thrown in, there are now moments where they get “loud,” as loud as they can, with distortion and even electric guitars. Album opener “Black Night” will satisfy long-time fans with familiar frantic work on the toms by Kroeber. That deep drum tone resonates through the entire album, much the same way it has throughout their entire career. “Going Under” is a good example of all of the band’s strengths presented in one six-minute song. What starts as a simple beat with some finely picked guitar play quickly turns into one of the most perfect melodies of their discography as Long sings “this ship is going under,” backed by (if you can believe it) NEKO CASE. The song then switches between those two elements and another, louder, distorted “jam.”
Yes, perhaps the biggest selling point for new listeners will be the backing vocals provided by NEKO CASE. NEKO CASE, people. It’s hard to say if she is even that interesting anymore, but her subtle accompaniment is a wonderful compliment to Long time and again throughout the album’s nine songs.
No Color is simply another fantastic album from a band perfecting their intricate and beautifully-crafted pop masterpieces.