Time to Die, the Dodo's third full-length record and follow-up to 2008's acclaimed Visiter, arrives with high expectations and delivers with a fuller sound due to the addition of multi-instrumentalist Keaton Snyder.
Opening track "Small Deaths" suggests a more mature Dodos, layering pop-song melodies into a multi-part progressive-rock structure. The nervous energy is still there in the guitar and drumming, marking the staggering pace and mood for the album.
Time to Die may seem like a dark theme, but the melody and lightness with which these tracks are sung doesn't feel that way. Producer Phil Ek (Shins, Fleet Foxes) helps shape the Dodo's sound into something appropriate for the end of summer, as a "time to die" into winter. When Meric Long sings about going into the fire, you get a feeling he's on the same page.
With a mix of blues, folk, pop, and freak, Time to Die comes off like Hall & Oats meets Animal Collective. It might inspire you when you put it on to find a place to pass the winter writing crazy pop songs.
The Dodos perform next Monday, September 28, at the Casbah.
Album title: Time to Die
Artist: the Dodos
Label: French Kiss
Songs: (1) Small Deaths (2) Longform (3) Fables (4) The Strums (5) This Is A Business (6) Two Medicines (7) Troll Nacht (8) Acorn Factory (9) A Time To Die