Oh man, where do I even start. Caravan Palace is (was?) one of my favorite bands, but this album doesn’t sound like CP at all. Where their previous album, Robot Face, merely tested the pop/house waters, Chronologic goes all in. It’s a natural next step, I guess, and I can’t fault the band for doubling down on what’s obviously made them more successful. But this shift in tone coupled with the departure of some of the original members means the Caravan Palace of old is long gone. That doesn’t mean the new Caravan Palace and Chronologic are bad, though, just… very different. Like, if I had first listened to any of these songs out of context, I probably wouldn’t be able to guess who it was.
The problem I have with Chronologic is that it sounds too much like everything else now. Every song places huge importance on the lyrics and guest singers, and CP’s usual quirky instrumentals get lost in the background. Take the song “Melancolia.” If you’re not into hip hop, the vocals will probably drive you nuts. But then the brief sax and piano sections are amazing. It’s a really odd intermingling of the best and worst, and I still can’t decide if I like it. That’s how I feel about the whole album. Chronologic is easy listening overall, but nothing sticks with me, nothing sinks its claws into me like CP’s older stuff. It’s a solid B by any other standards. I just normally expect an A+ from these folks.