Monday, 12 January 2009

Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion

Review for Artrocker Magazine

Animal Collective are a consistently creative presence on the leftfield music scene. Like Black Dice, Fuck Buttons or Of Montreal, their every release is an automatic must-hear, whether their distinctive brand of jittery “world music” touring alt-pop is your thing or not.

Moving on from last year’s ambitious but oddly irritating effort ‘Strawberry Jam’, this finds Animal Collective back on happily familiar psychedelic territory. Effects laden guitar and chiming piano melt into reverb-drenched vocals and shuffling, clicking percussion. Layered drones build into elongated jams that splinter off into lo-fi passages of loose, mathy pop. The effect is evocative, immersive and euphoric, far from the jarring sounds and screamy vocals employed on Strawberry Jam; Animal Collective are at their best when they bend their soft-focus, folky surf sound into exciting new shapes.

‘Merriweather Post Pavilion’ is an energised, ambitious and joyful record that regains the trademark warmth and gentle experimentation that has endeared Animal Collective to so many over the past few years. This, their ninth album, could well turn out to be one they're remembered for.


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