(5 out of 5)
The first four minutes of the Dodos’ latest album manage to simultaneously distill all that is great about the band AND provide a swift kick to the solar plexus. The airy, epic assault of “Black Night” shows just how much this band can do with so very little, as quick-strum open chords, shout-chant choruses, and persuasive and propulsive rhythms combine to make something that’s insistently powerful and intimately human. And then – amazingly – when the pace slows for the relatively restrained and simple “Going Under,” the Dodos wind up proving that, no matter what gear they’re in, their music still bristles with a homespun electricity and individuality that’s refreshing and uplifting. Still based around the core duo of Meric Long and Logan Kroeber, the heart and soul of the Dodos’ sound is that of two acoustic musicians jamming; you could strip away the studio polish and end up with a couple of buskers who demand your attention on the way to catch a train and leave you giddily singing their praises throughout the rest of the day. Then again, those tiny touches of reverb that make give Long’s voice a bit of cavernous volume, those gorgeous and tasteful string swooshes, those perfectly aligned background vocals…they all go a long way to making the heartfelt acoustic indie rock of NO COLOR feel quite special.