Last year, as part of my list of the top 12 albums of 2012, I wrote a bit about Grizzly Bear’s Shields. Within it, I talked about today’s album from one of the members of GB, Chris Taylor. Here’s that portion of the review, and below it, some new thoughts:
It’s been a full three years since Grizzly Bear last released an album (2009’s Veckatimest). In the meantime, Bear members Chris Taylor and Daniel Rossen both released solo records.
Taylor, Bear bassist, released an album under the moniker CANT called Dreams Come True. If you’ve heard that record, you know it… wait for it… CANT do no wrong. Up top, everybody.
Really though, Dreams Come True was a totally satisfying experimental record that was part Yeasayer, part Black Moth Super Rainbow (and other, equally weird parts) – but only the newer, introspective Black Moth that relies far less on the psychedelic than it does on the much more palatable, catchy electronica. It was spacey goodness, and made the wait between GB records less agonizing. Further, Taylor’s vocal style doesn’t depart from his main band, which I thought was refreshing. Come to think of it, all of the GB boys have distinguished vocal styles, easily picked up throughout their songs. Some bands with multiple vocalists run into the issue of too little differentiation, wherein their vocals blur and sludge together. Not so with GB.
Thoughts on CANT’s Dreams Come True since the end of last year:
So what I didn’t know when I wrote my mini-review is that George Lewis, who records as Twin Shadow, collaborated with Taylor to create Dreams Come True. I’ve been jamming Shadow’s Confess a helluva lot lately, and re-listening to Dreams, it’s easy for me to hear Lewis’ influence.
I want to edit my evaluation, though, because I’m less convinced now that Dreams sounds similar to newer Black Moth.
For example: “Too Late, Too Far” has a dope Phil Collins vibe. “Believe” sports a familiar, warm bass tone often used on Grizzly Bear songs to drive the tune. “Bericht” plays out with almost a Sigur Rós-like piano. And the title track “Dreams Come True” is edgy and dark to the point of almost being Nine Inch Nails.
On that song, Bear repeats the line “Do the right thing” under heavy breathing. Very Reznor-esque. None of these things are very BMSR, so I don’t know what influenced me to write what I did, but I’m correcting it.
Now that I’ve made my way through the Twin Shadow catalogue of songs, I have a lot more appreciation for this record.
From the 2011 release Dreams Come True, this is CANT’s “She Found a Way Out” –
Standout tracks: “Believe” and “Answer”
Weakest track: If anything, “(brokencollar)” because it’s only 54 seconds long. I wanted so badly to see this track developed into something more full.
RIYL: Experimental electro-pop, electronic, new wave, even industrial at times. Grizzly Bear, Daniel Rossen.