The Dodos, Time To Die
I hope that when it’s my time to die, the new Dodos album will be playing in the background for my last 45 minutes. The indie group released its fourth album, Time To Die, on September 15, and I like it a lot.
The first track of the album, “Small Death,” opens with the tranquil, calm strumming of a guitar and soft vocals, reminding me of earlier folk-rock performers from the ’60s and ’70s. Then the drums kick in, and you realize this isn’t the same music your dad listened to when he was in high school.
One unique thing that I really enjoy and appreciate about the album is that instead of using the traditional pick, which creates a cleaner sound, you can actually hear the sound of the guitarist’s fingers changing chords as he moves along the neck of the guitar. It’s just a personal thing, but I love that aspect. It feels more real to me, more impactful.
Several of the tracks on the album feel like they could be divided into several songs. I actually had to check my iPod various times as I listened to “Small Death” to see what track I was actually listening to, only to realize it was still on the first track. Time To Die has only nine tracks but lasts 45 minutes; each song changes directions and speed a lot, making every song unique and interesting. I think the Dodos do a good job of adding just enough variety on the album to not bore listeners.
I wouldn’t describe the Dodos as “experimental” in any sense of the word, but the album reminds me a little of some experimental bands. For some reason, The Appleseed Cast comes to mind, but a more folksy version. The Dodos have lyrics but also don’t feel the need to fill every second with vocals, so a lot of the songs have long periods without anyone singing, creating an almost trippy feel. I normally don’t like too much music without vocals because I lose focus, but on this album I really like the balance the band provides. It actually allows the listener to pay closer attention to the music and not focus solely on the vocals. It provides a whole new listening experience, in my opinion.
I love the third track, “Fables.” I think it’s a beautiful song, probably my favorite track on the album. The harmonies the group uses in this song are awesome, combining with the steady drum, the acoustic guitar and the xylophone to create something great. “This is Business” is probably the fastest track, the drummer sounding almost like Travis Barker as he pounds away at the drum set.
“Time To Die” is also the name of the last track, and it’s catchy, like one last hurrah on the album — almost like the final encore that tops off a great show.