CD Review: "Merriweather Post Pavilion" by Animal Collective
Artist: Animal Collective
Album: Merriweather Post Pavilion
Label: Domino Records
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No wonder the guys of Animal Collective were pissed when individual tracks off Merriweather Post Pavilion leaked: the album is meant to be heard as a singular piece of work.
No band swings as hard to the extremes of electronic and organic music as Animal Collective. The two distinct genres sometime blend and other times are at odds during the same song. The dynamic contrast makes it compelling. Beginning with “In the Flowers”Â the album immediately has a feeling of newness thanks to Ben Allen’s production. It feels comfortable yet different.
When Avey Tare sings “If I could just leave my body for a week” there is a joyous explosion of sound that is different than anything the band has done before. On past records the band’s sound was so dense at points the vocals and instruments were almost hiding. Here everything is on the surface. The density is still there, but it’s now fully accessible.Â
Panda Bear shines on “Two Girls,” which has an enjoyable hook of “I don’t mean, to seem like I care about material things/like social status. I just want/ two wall and adobe slab for my girls”. The band has played “Two Girls” live for a few years now, but on Merriweather it has a ridiculously danceable beat, with Avey Tare yelping in the background giving it a tribal feel.
As a whole, the album is less dark and edgy than past albums – for better or worse – but it is also the easiest album to listen to on repeat since 2004′s Sung Tongs. It takes the best of Panda Bear’s solo work and blends it with the Collective’s best songs.
The band’s previous album Strawberry Jam featured more vocals from Avey Tare. He shares more songs with Panda Bear here, which creates a feeling of unison. They harmonize on most of the songs and it sounds fantastic. Tare shines on the sweet “Bluish” where he sings “I’m getting lost in your curls.”
Animal Collective has established an awesome discography to date, and Merriweather Post Pavilion is the most accomplished and complete of their recordings.
- Review submitted by Jeff Bracco.