Monday, March 23, 2009


Merriweather Post Pavilion-
Animal Collective
Status-Out as of 2009
Rating-4.5 Feathers

Animal Collective are comprised of four avantgarde musicians from Maryland. They have become known for there psychedelic, genre bending sounds. Upon the leave of member Deakin, the three others compiled a bunch of songs from the days of their previous album ‘Strawberry Jam’, and reworked them into what has become the most hyped album so far in 2009, “Merriweather Post Pavilion.” Will it live up to expectations? First, you must close your eyes and listen. In ‘In The Flowers’, you can see an obscure ‘Comfortably Numb’, by Pink Floyd, influence, and equipped with the sound of creatures and water, it’s astonishingly good. The mid break is very epic which makes the song a good pick as the album’s opening. ‘My Girls’ is my favorite song from the album. I never agree with Pitchfork Media’s music reviews, but this time I do. This is definitely the song where after hearing it, you want to replay it ten times more. The layering of the vocals and the incessant repetition of the verses is beyond infectious and it’s very hard to forget about. ‘Also Frightened’ has a very similar feel and sound to the previous two, but it’s sound is more like a chant. I can easily imagine sitting in the middle of a jungle or rainforest listening to it, and it fitting the mood perfectly. ‘Summertime Clothes’ is by far the closest thing to radio friendly on the album. It’s extremely poppy and happy, and it channels that energy to you, reminding you of summer days. ‘Daily Routine’ is psychedelic indie with afro-pop beats. The vocals make the song, and the vocal fill in the middle is spacy and surreal, while staying awkwardly appealing. ‘Bluish’ reminds me a little too much of Genesis and is too fogged over and dreamy for my liking. It just doesn’t have that same zest the others have. ‘Guys Eyes’ is significantly more experimental than the last song. Though you cannot understand what he’s saying at all, the massive amount of vocal layering creates a very nice effect that I have never heard until now. ‘Taste’ poses a strange question of ‘am I really all the things that are inside of me?’ which is repeated amidst a chorus of light bubbly synthesizers. It’s somewhat dreamy, but in a much better way than ‘Bluish’ was. ‘Lion in a Coma’ uses a myriad of percussion and filters to create an almost dizzying experience. In my mind, this song creates the strangest visual of the collection, which leaves you kind of confused on what just happened. ‘No More Runnin’ calms you down from the trip the last song sent you on with melodies that could easily be found on ‘Wincing the Night Away’ by The Shins. The light keyboard and harmonization makes this the softest song, but surely one the more enjoyable ones. ‘Brother Sport’ is a fitting finale with such a mass amount of atmospheric excitement that it fills you with more joy than ‘Summertime Clothes’ could ever hope to. It even further encases you with visions of the beach or simply happier times. Though my only beef is that for about two straight minutes it sounds like the CD’s skipping, it still leaves you yearning for more and I must say, it’s difficult to believe that this has come to an end. ‘Merriweather Post Pavilion’ was basically The Shins on drugs, or atleast with Syd Barrett as their composer. Jumping through such a vast array of genres, through everything from electro-pop to indie to psychedelic, Animal Collective couldn’t have created a better album. It’s not just a simple listen, this album affects you. Listening to it’s genius in little bits and pieces will not leave you amazed as when listening to it in its entirety. To paraphrase ‘My Girls,’ “There isn’t much that I feel I need,” but I must say, you need this album.
"I think we found ways of using our instruments in ways that we really like and we've gotten sort of skilled at that style, but we're not the kind of people that could be studio musicians and have somebody be like, "You've gotta play a solo on this part." I don't think any of us could really do that sort of thing."-Noah Lennox (Panda Bear)

Video for My Girls

Recommendations: My Girls, Also Frightened, Summertime Clothes, Brother Sport
Animal Collective's Official Website
Note: Yes, I know this came out a while ago, but I'm just jumping on the Animal Collective bandwagon. Atleast it came out this year. I'll have Midnight Boom by The Kills out really soon, and then First Impressions of Earth by The Strokes (it's about time), so stay tuned!


Lily Hydrangea said...

Wow! Your review is thought provoking in a big way...I've got to go listen to this, & very soon too.
Thanks DH.

Double Hawk said...

Lily: Thankyou very much. Some one told me that my last review of Origin of Symmetry was boring so I really really tried to make this one interesting, so I'm very glad you noticed!

Ian France said...

This album is amazing! I got it before it came out when it was leaked, and I can't even find a favorite song. All of them are lyrically ingenious, melodically catchy, and creatively original, to use some optimistic adjectives. Great review!

Double Hawk said...

Arnie: I should've just gave into them when everyone was freaking about the album, but I didn't. I absolutely love them now, and I can't wait 'til I get Strawberry Jam. 'My Girls' is my favorite, I don't know why, it just stuck the first time I listened to it!

Richard Cole King said...

Is this not one of the greatest videos you have seen in a long long time. I am much impressed by it. I posted it some time ago as well.

Double Hawk said...

Richard Cole King: Yes, it is one the best. It's so far the best video, I think, of 2009.