CANT – Dreams Come True (Warp Records)
September 5, 2011 by Christina Davis
We all know Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear has hidden himself away under the name of CANT to create this melodic solo debut (featuring collaborations from Twin Shadow’s George Lewis Jr.) but I doubt anyone was expecting it to be half as good as this.
‘Too Late, Too Far’, the opener for this woozy album, introduces you to the seemingly authentic, eastern sounds that merge with brilliant synths and a strong, constant drumming. It’s immediately followed by ‘Believe’, which emphasises the warmer element of CANT and the soft vocals that we’re used to hearing from Taylor’s previous work. These are songs that so far wouldn’t sound out of place on any Grizzly Bear album; perfect for a relaxed evening drinking red wine and smoking cigars.
A cool, jazzy love song continues the mood and introduces lyrics such as ‘Just say you love me’ and ‘When you’rit’s e not around just what will I miss’. This song is definitely a track for afternoon radio. It’s more about the vocals and the repeated lyrics of a confused man as opposed to the rest of the instrumentally-focused debut; ‘The Edge’ could be compared to any slower track from Metronomy’s Mercury nominated ‘English Riviera’.
Disappointingly ‘Bang’ is a lost song on this album, nothing new, boring, as is the 53 second piano track ‘(Brokencollar)’, both hardly worth mentioning and not something that should be any bold reflection on the rest of the tracks.
Half way through the album we enter the darker side of Chris Taylor’s work. ‘She’s Found a Way Out’ takes a slower tempo but reveals heavier, thicker sounds; a great reflection of the multi-instrumentalist himself. ‘Dreams Come True’ continues these sounds, the former warmth and relaxation vanishing away. With grungy vocals and a mix of synths, guitars, and a hint of what I can only presume to be cowbells, it rips away from anything that could be compared to Grizzly Bear; after this song it all suddenly makes sense, everything clicks together, this is Taylor shouting out to be noticed as something other than a jazz/soft folk musician. If you were expecting a rebellious sound from Chris Taylor – you’ve got it.
The last two songs on the album really finish it off with ‘Rises Silent’ producing whispering sounds and eclectic beats. It’s brilliantly dark and haunting with eerie pianos that lead nicely into the last song ‘Bericht’. This is by far the most graceful song on the album, slowing it right down in terms of pace and rounding it off with the warmth shown in the opening tracks. The gentle, echoey vocals on this are beautiful; just over two minutes of musical heaven with lyrics such as ‘And it’s all come down to this’. And it has all come down to this. Chris Taylor should now find the acceptance he’s looking for. He’s created a great first solo album sure to be proud of. If this is a taste of things to come then I just hope he doesn’t leave Grizzly Bear behind in the dust of his footsteps.