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Merriweather Post Pavilion

Animal Collective

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iTunes Editors' Notes

Since 2000, Animal Collective has combined far-flung elements — Beach Boys-influenced vocals, ambient textures, bursts of noise, folky singalongs, psychedelic explorations — into a unique sound that is both experimental and melody loving. Merriweather Post Pavilion, their ninth full-length, is a breakthrough. The group — Avey Tare (David Portner), Panda Bear (Noah Lennox), and Brian Weitz (Geologist) — have created their poppiest work yet, and it sounds great. In the mid-‘80s, Sonic Youth started to shape their overtone-filled textures into potent songs, and on Merriweather, Animal Collective pulls off a similar coup. The desire for familial domesticity never sounded as ecstatic as it does on “My Girls.” (And who knew a line like “I just want four walls and adobe slats for my girls” could be so catchy?) “Also Frightened” evokes ‘60s psych filtered through the band’s 21st-century sensibility, while “Bluish” is a mellow slice of phase-shifted bliss etched with details that play off the lead vocal in winsome ways. On the closer, “Brother Sport,” the group layers vocals and percussion with delirious glee: it’s a great send-off for a joyful album.

Customer Reviews

outstanding

11 purple bottles on one album.

Mmhmm.

In the past, Animal Collective has been known for their strange sounds and almost incomprehensible arrangement, but with Merriweather Post Pavillion, it all falls into place. Still deliciously unorganized, these songs are more understandable than past tunes have been, but they have not lost any of that original quirk. What I also find really enjoyable is the slight African influences, with both the vocals and the percussion. It's a little bit like as if Vampire Weekend was chewed up by a robot and spat back out in neon colours. Great must-haves include Brother Sport and Summertime Clothes. Enjoy!

Can't listen to it

I got this album based on the many laudatory, almost worshipful reviews. Sad to say, I cannot understand what these people are hearing. I am an eclectic music lover, who actually likes any genre provided "it's good". What I hear when I listen to this album (and I have gamely tried at least ten times to listen for something I had not yet heard), is a cacophony of over-produced, melody-free and lyrically vacant tracks. What ties them together is the inability to choose which theme or instruments to bring to the front, the constant feeling that no one could decide which sounds did not belong, and the insipid choral channeling of the worst Beach Boys harmonies. If you want more Beach Boy-esque stuff, listen to the Shins. If you want more electronic stuff, try Air, Boards of Canada or Zero7. I'll even take Of Montreal, which bears a passing resemblance, but has focused production, tighter song structures and lyrics, even if they are challenging. As for Animal Collective, I don't doubt that there are people who love it, but I just can't listen to it. Sorry.

Biography

Formed: 1999 in Baltimore, MD

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Animal Collective were formed in Baltimore County, Maryland, by longtime friends and musical collaborators Avey Tare (David Portner), Panda Bear (Noah Lennox), Deakin (Josh Dibb), and Geologist (Brian Weitz). With a penchant for genre-hopping and studio experimentation, the group began drawing comparisons to everyone from the Residents and the Flaming Lips to the Incredible String Band and the Holy Modal Rounders. Solo and side projects proved to be a continual occupation for most of the group's...
Full bio