Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Album Review: Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion

Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavilion could be described as a “that was unexpected” album…for me at least. I heard some good things about the newest album so I picked it up. Animal Collective tracks I’ve heard in the past were not my “bag” and sounded completely different sonically then what is on MPP. I took a train to NYC this past weekend. Train rides or long drives are great album testers. Captive environment with limited distractions. Flights never work for me. Too white-noisey and the whole ear-popping deal. The first track “In the Flowers” gave me an initial “buyers remorse” vibe until the drums kicked in. I thought it would be an hour of experimental electronic mellow 10min tracks. The second track “My Girls” is the one that got me interested ( Easily the best track on MPP. Hard to describe ACs music style on this album. Electronica? Electro-Pop? Beat-Pop? (I made that last one up). I guess is the best term out there would be “Electro-Pop” but if I read that on a blog I’d probably back away. You can get an idea of what they use in the “My Girls” video in the link above. Keyboard elements, Synths, drum machines, live drums, mixing boards, hand-claps, etc. I believe the majority of the songs on the album are past the 5-min mark. The reason for this is that each track builds a few minutes before the tootsie-roll-center of the harmony arrangements kick in. You’ll need to have a plan before throwing this album on for a full listen. The vocal style and lyrics somewhat vary per track between the two leads in the band. One of the vocalists I confused with Isaac Brock (Modest Mouse) on a few of the tracks. During my first run-through I honestly thought he contributed some guest vocals. Some tracks make you very relaxed (No More Runnin/Taste) while others keep you on your toes (Summertime Clothes/Bluish). The last track “Brother Sport” is my second fav behind “My Girls”. Those two songs (and maybe Summertime Clothes) would be considered singles if this band was radio-friendly. The instrumentation is unique and the lyrics/harmonies on “Brother Sport” towards the close repeat and repeat and repeat and repeat…but you don’t want it to end. Pick the album up and you’ll see. “Two snaps in a circle”

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