Swan Lake is the latest product of the incestuous Canadian music scene. There’s Dan Bejar, of New Pornographers and Destroyer, Spencer Krug of Wolf Parade and Sunset Rubdown, and Carey Mercer of Frog Eyes. With this line-up, the expectations for the album are going to be superfluously high.
And on paper, this combination certainly seems like it would be a massive success. But paper doesn’t always translate to real life. While it delivers most of the time, Beast Moans is inconsistent. The biggest problem is a general lack of cohesion on the album as a whole; it sounds like Bejar, Krug and Mercer are three separate entities. It is abundantly apparent that they wrote these songs separately. It lacks the collaboration that you hear on other albums by bands like Gnarls Barkley, where it sounds like Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo were working with each other.