Album Review
Animal Collective - Merriweather Post... Album Cover

Animal Collective - Merriweather Post...

Reviewed by
Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion
Record Label: Domino Records
Release Date: January 6th, 2009 (vinyl), January 20th, 2009 (CD)
I recently watched “The Fearless Freaks,” a documentary about The Flaming Lips. There was an interview in it with a music critic who said that the main problem with music today is that no one is afraid to change his or her sound. A lot of truth can be found in this statement; what’s better than hearing your favorite band come out with a new album that takes a really cool turn for the better? On Merriweather Post Pavilion, Animal Collective take the weirdness down to a minimum and the songwriting up to a whole different level.

With every Animal Collective release, there’s been a change. The lo-fi noise folk found on their debut, Spirit They’re Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished, slowly mutated to the freak folk on Campfire Songs and the noise rock on Here Comes the Indian to the psych-folk masterpiece, Feels, and then to the noise pop Strawberry Jam. Here we have their newest offering, a dance influenced sonic assault of out-of-this-world sounds and samples.

The first thing anyone would notice on the first listen is the fact that the songwriting is actually structured and evident on every song. One of the problems I’ve had with some of the songs in their back catalog has been the lack of structure (see “Queen in My Picture"). But every song on this album has a clear and concise architecture and movement.

“In the Flowers” starts things off with a bang as Avey Tare croons “I walk out in to the flowers and feel better/If I could just leave my body for the night,” then the song explodes into one of the most awe-inspiring moments you’ll ever find in an Animal Collective song. The next song, “My Girls,” is just as touching and heart-warming. Panda Bear belts out an ode to his wife and daughter backed by off-kilter percussion and a magnificent chorus.

The next few songs unfold in a similar fashion while still retaining freshness and entertainment. Songs like “Daily Routine” and “Bluish” are very refreshing songs and offer a look at the new Animal Collective sound.

“Taste” and “Lion in a Coma” boast very interesting lyrical topics, in contrast to another weakness in some of Animal Collective’s older material. It is clear that Panda Bear’s Person Pitch was an influence on the album as he (Noah Lennox) takes a much bigger role in the album, especially with his vocals. “Brother Sport” closes the album with a bang once again. One of the better pop songs on the record; you’re not going to hear a better melody this year.

It’s impossible to say how this album will fare at the end of the year, but if the universal acclaim this album has gotten tells us anything, we’ll be hearing about this album for a long time. Animal Collective is here to stay, guys.

Track Listing1. In the Flowers – 5:22
2. My Girls – 5:41
3. Also Frightened – 5:14
4. Summertime Clothes – 4:30
5. Daily Routine – 5:46
6. Bluish – 5:14
7. Guys Eyes – 4:31
8. Taste – 3:53
9. Lion in a Coma – 4:12
10. No More Runnin' – 4:23
11. Brother Sport – 5:59

Recommended If You LikePanda Bear's Person Pitch; weird electronica-tinged psych-folk sonic masterpieces

This review is a user submitted review from therobbert. You can see all of therobbert's submitted reviews here.
Displaying posts 1 - 5 of 5
04:34 AM on 02/09/09
Cold Chillin'
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Wobbie's Avatar
Great review, and a great album. Yeah, it's getting a shit-ton of hype, and a lot of hate due to lots of hipsters loving it. But it's no flash in the pan Vampire Weekend kinda stuff. It's such a solid album from start to finish.
10:46 AM on 02/09/09
sowing season
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princesschad's Avatar
Great review, and a great album. Yeah, it's getting a shit-ton of hype, and a lot of hate due to lots of hipsters loving it. But it's no flash in the pan Vampire Weekend kinda stuff. It's such a solid album from start to finish.
Vampire Weekend is hardly "flash in the pan."

Anyway, this record is a unbelievable. "In the Flowers" is my song of the year so far and it will be very hard to top.
09:55 AM on 02/12/09
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HometownHero's Avatar
This record really sucked
07:49 AM on 02/18/09
Registered User
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No Avatar Selected
this is my first review
hope you guys like it

good record

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