Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion (Cover Artwork)

Animal Collective

Animal Collective: Merriweather Post PavilionMerriweather Post Pavilion (2009)

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: TorgoTorgo
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No matter what genre you want to call them -- freak folk, avant-garde psychedelia, Pitchfork Police Masturbatory Fodder -- Animal Collective's ear for beautiful pop buried underneath distortion and experimentalism is undeniable to even the hardest critic. The band's eighth LP, Merriweather Post Pavi.
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No matter what genre you want to call them -- freak folk, avant-garde psychedelia, Pitchfork Police Masturbatory Fodder -- Animal Collective's ear for beautiful pop buried underneath distortion and experimentalism is undeniable to even the hardest critic. The band's eighth LP, Merriweather Post Pavilion, named after an outdoor music venue in Maryland that band members have been frequenting since their youth, shows a band restlessly refusing to leave their peak. After the well-received LPs Sung Tongs, Feels and Strawberry Jam, AC have truly honed the weird art they make without sounding stale or like they're going through the motions.

MPP successfully balances the tight rope of standout tracks and overall cohesive unity. A good portion of the songs recall the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds on sonic overdrive. The excellent lead single, "My Girls" is their catchiest song since "Grass," but unlike the Beach Boys it will most likely exist outside of radio. The most obvious Beach Boys emulation is "Guys Eyes," which features the similar lush harmonies twisted into AC's own with disorienting tribal layers. Not to mention, I don't think the Beach Boys had any songs about masturbating (last mention of self-pleasure, I swear).

There's less distinctive guitar on the record than in the past; in its place are jangly loops and a vast amount of instruments used to create the overall musical landscape; a didgeridoo in "Lion in a Coma" is perhaps the distinct one on the record.

Despite every song being about the same length (roughly five minutes), they all progress organically. My only complaint is that "Daily Routine" runs too long, and I think the average listener may not be able to listen to it all the way through its 54-minute running length frequently. But when trying to pick out a track that was disposable, I couldn't do it. Every track has an interesting hook and like a great movie has to be revisited a few times to get every element.

The album winds down with the dreamy and sedated "No More Runnin'"; the welcomed change of pace is a relatively calm, tropical number that evokes flowing water. The feeling is only temporary as the frenzied "Brother Sport" closes the record. An unabashed rave number, it weaves in and out of shakers, techno sirens, electronic keys and thudding bass and unsurprisingly has the fastest tempo of the record.

A lot of people are saying this is their dance record, but Animal Collective are simply perfecting and tweaking their well-known sound and they come off as a little more mature than they have in the past. The punks may decry it as hyperbole, but take note: The first great record of 2009 has been unleashed.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Spooky (August 20, 2010)

Soon to be known as one of the greatest indie albums ever made. This CD is still in constant rotation for me.

shitsfucked (October 25, 2009)

worst band i have seen in a while, i'm usually open minded but this is the opposite of good. il give the cd a try but probabily not

scorpiondeathlock (January 23, 2009)

wow does this sound nothing like MGMT

i-type-poorly (January 22, 2009)

I liked Strawberry Jam and about half of the songs on their last few albums before that, but not digging this much at all except My Girls and the last song. I don't like the tone of songs, too much of that heavenly synth thing, its really gaudy. Sounds too much like that last MGMT, and that isn't very good either.

KevinJamesSuperFan (January 22, 2009)

I too have tried several times over the years to get into this band, even buying Sung Tongs(probably my favorite) and Strawberry Jam...and I just can't do it. They have some really cool ideas and use some interesting sounds but don't really write songs and I eventually lose interest and turn it off, until next time I try and see if it clicks for me.

That said I did really like Panda Bear's solo album Person Pitch...I'm not sure what it is about that album that I like opposed to the whole band working together, but it just seems like one kinda long weird trip that is nice and mellow music to put on in the background or interesting enough to really listen in when you want without ever becoming irritating as many full Animal Collective albums do. Kinda like a modern electronically influenced Brian Wilson on mushrooms or something.

Either way, I was kinda hoping that the new Animal Collective would resemble Person Pitch more than it does

DrGunn (January 22, 2009)

i also like noisy stuff but honestly i find this band really dull and irritating. it's probably the kind of thing that i might like if i spent more time with it, but frankly i can't find anything about it that intrigues me enough to want to. also their fan base is incredibly irritating.

R3vengeTherapy (January 22, 2009)

You know, lately I've been really into noisier stuff, but this is just way wayyy too much. There are for sure a few cool songs, but there are also a few that really irritate me because the electronic bleeps and beeps are so fucking loud and monotonous that it's hard to believe anyone can genuinely enjoy it.

I don't feel like this is anything earth-shattering like all these people on the internet are making it out to be, it seems like they're just praising it just to praise it. I see the Beach Boys comparison big time, and a lot of times it felt like I was listening to the Beach Boys if they had 1000 different ridiculous layered sounds and effects over their harmonies.

This is pop music (and the vocals really are great) buried in a shitload of production effects and quirky bullshit. Eh.

billnye (January 21, 2009)

i don't get a flaming lips comparison at all. completely different styles. their both pop music, but don't really see similarities beyond that.

inagreendase (January 21, 2009)

Only guys with beards.

I actually shaved clean today and then threw on this record shortly thereafter.

24HourPriapism (January 21, 2009)

the flaming lips sans talent or composition. this is just bleeps and bloops and garbage under the guise of "challenging music."

aorta (January 21, 2009)

great record

kurasuke (January 21, 2009)

Waste of 54 minutes.
I had heard that it was actually kinda good- at least different from their old stuff. It may be different but its no better. Pure garbage.

theDrivingSnow (January 21, 2009)

Oh and this shit is not avant-garde; it's just noisy pop.

theDrivingSnow (January 21, 2009)

Album is not that good. Strawberry Jam and Feels are loads better.

anarchyadam (January 21, 2009)

Belch. Guys with beards listen to this shit. Only guys with beards.

cyborgfrance (January 21, 2009)

I thought I was the only one who saw a moving cover, thank fuck!

Oh, not a bad album. It's growing on me, but some of their songs just... go nowhere. A three minute song turns into six just because and that's my main complaint, really.

sugarfull (January 21, 2009)

is that cover...moving?

cyanotic (January 21, 2009)

Score is for the cover. I can't stop staring at it.

Wesley_Snipes (January 20, 2009)

Score is for Former President George W. Bush ! !

TheMarc (January 20, 2009)

I can't get past the second song because it's so awesome.

genebuonaccorsi (January 20, 2009)

i guess i'll have to get this. strawberry jam was great.

names (January 20, 2009)

psh. I reviewed this! Second time this has happen. Uncool...

scorpiondeathlock (January 20, 2009)

the breakdown 3 mintues into My Girls is the catchiest shit ever. sumemr clothes and brothersport are awesome too.

NefariousFIG (January 20, 2009)

No matter how many times I've tried, I just cannot get into this band that much. They do have a few amazing songs, though.

WaitingRoom (January 20, 2009)

I like this album a lot more than Strawberry Jam so far; My Girls is a good song.

Torgo (January 20, 2009)

Indeed it is, everyone should look at it here: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3274/2965058905_f5b65b14a5.jpg?v=0

miniblindbandit (January 20, 2009)

dude...i think that cover is moving.

Archangel (January 20, 2009)

I've never enjoyed Animal Collective, but I have yet to hear a single complaint about this record. Guess I need to give them another chance.

mikexdude (January 20, 2009)

I like this band a lot, but a lot of the people who are into this kind of music are lame.

Yay for generalizing!

osloboditelj (January 20, 2009)

This album is so good. Between it and the Mi Ami full length 2009 is off to a damn good start.

xote (January 20, 2009)

Feels is still my favorite record from them but this is 2nd place. This shit is fucking amazing. Great record and even better band. They deserve all they hype they get.

Torgo (January 20, 2009)

That's weird that this would be posted before my That's It... Bye review.

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