Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Merriweather Post Pavillion (Animal Collective) (2009):
If it seems Animal Collective has been growing from strength to strength then it is true but even I felt topping Strawberry Jam would be impossible. That said, the band has made a serious effort to do just that. The opening two tracks—In the Flowers and My Girls---make this abundantly clear with their restless beats and opulent timing. Also Frightened overdubs itself more pointedly with each verse, with no apparent hook other than repeating its chorus and dragging its lines along to full psychedelic effect. Such audacity only comes from a band assured in its stature and not concerned with playing it safe. Even bolder is the anthem aspirations of songs like Bluish and Guy’s Eyes, both swirl with heavy grooves and outperform the others within the headphones space that it demands. It even gets better the more listens one gives it proving that though other experimentalists are out there manifesting efforts, none come close to these guys who, for the third album running, continue to evolve further away from the ensuing pack. And yes, even though there are three more months left in the year, rest assured, you won’t find a better album in ’09 than this epic release.