Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 2.54.29 PMClub Meds is Dan Mangan’s fourth studio album and the much anticipated follow up to his multi-Juno Award winning Oh Fortune. It is his first album in which he has officially joined forces with his longtime band members under the moniker Dan Mangan + Blacksmith. From the first track, Club Meds is disparate from Mangan’s previous work. The sound is dreamy and the lyrics reflect on the human condition, particularly what Mangan refers to in the record’s liner notes as “a great vacation from actuality,” as people go through life “under the fog.” Mangan’s voice is deep and soothing, his songwriting flawless, and though each song has a distinct sound, the album flows smoothly, like a raft floating down a meandering river. The album is best listened to in its entirety, but the thought-provoking “Vessel,” anthemic “Forgetery,” and minimalist “New Skies” with its tender vocals and soothing melody, restrained drums, and soaring trumpets are worth a repeat.

Rating: 4/5

-Michelle McChristie