Merriweather Post Pavilion
Animal Collective’s ninth full-length is the first true beast of 2009. Right now, it’s the record to hear if you are interested in new and/or experimental music, and the one to avoid if you are a purist of any sort clinging to more traditional styles. If, like me, you often find yourself torn between these two perspectives, it’s an immediate must-listen—most likely, you will find something to appreciateOppblåsbare lysbilder.
Merriweather Post Pavilion presents Animal Collective—a band known for being extremely experimental, often to their detriment—continuing their fervent experimentation within the more accessible realm of pop music. Much like Deerhoof’s 2008 offering, Offend Maggie, the result is a comparatively more streamlined sound from previous records; but in the case of AC, it has led to their most focused and cohesive album thus far.
Anyone could have sensed AC’s swelling popularity in recent years, and some genius amongst them helped to coax this album out at exactly the right moment. Considering the fervent use of samplers on MPP, which recall band member Panda Bear’s 2007 critically acclaimed solo outing Person Pitch, certain assumptions could be made about whose influence is felt the most here. Regardless of where the inspiration originated, there are amazing contributions from at least two (if not more) members of the Collective, which help to wash out any doubt as to whether or not this career zenith was a group effort.
Still, I am surprised at how hyped up this album has been among die-hard fans of the band. MPP is so much more pop-oriented than anything AC has done in the past, one would almost expect a huge fan backlash. After all, we are talking about a group of avant-garde musicians who have been releasing extremely weird, non-commercial music under the radar for many, many years; all of a sudden, they release an incredibly radio-friendly record, which boasts at least a few dance-rock numbers. It’s almost like Kiss going Disco with their 1979 release, Dynasty.
Alas, Merriweather Post Pavilion has become the album that will make Animal Collective a household name. It’s the perfect sampler for their weirdness—beautifully produced, performed and composed, it shows the band restraining themselves just enough to let everyone in on the fun at one point or another. It’s not a perfect album, but with only two songs that fall short of breathtaking, it’s damn close.