Giants of the Animal Kingdom


Merriweather Post Pavilion / Animal Collective

As the undoubted giants of the animal kingdom, it has long been a difficult and irksome task to define the sound of the ANIMAL COLLECTIVE. Championing a uniquely progressive and free thinking musical approach, the band continue in their efforts to negate the idea of category or genre. The songs of Avey Tare, Panda Bear, Deakin and the Geologist combine beautifully poetic lyrics with strange and discordant folk tales, reminiscent of the haunting dreams of childhood. There’s talk of exploding fireworks and stinging nettles, of bear hugs and banshee beats. Many of their songs seem to reflect on those simple yet fleeting moments of magic that you can’t quite fathom. On the beauty and absurdity of nature. On daydreams, fantasy, and the peculiar randomness of life.

The boys’ latest offering proves to be just as visionary and heartbreaking a masterpiece as previous hit albums like Strawberry Jam, Feels, and Sung Tongs. Listening to Merriweather Post Pavilion is like chancing upon a dusty old suitcase, crammed with the photographs, curios, and handwritten letters of a young and dreamy-eyed lover. It’s like finding a lost journal tucked beneath your seat on the bus, and guiltily pouring over the pages of a stranger’s most intimate and heartfelt secrets. It’s like tapping into the night-time dreams of Avey Tare or Panda Bear, each song offering such an honest and raw portrayal of love; of life; of a fleeting moment; or an object of desire.

Merriweather Post might be a little less crazed and raucous as the AC’s previous works, but all in all, it’s just as ethereal and nirvana-inducing an experience. The collection of 11 songs provides a euphoric and exotic mix of celestial beats, primal chants, tribal-esque drum rolls, and spasmodic, blissful noise bursts. All of this layered over a multitude of heavenly vocals – oftentimes wailing, other times screaming or cawing like birds in song. Merriweather Post veers towards a more gentle, subtle, and dare I say it, accessible sound. That being said, the AC still come out top trumps, for this band of magical songsters cannot help but woo and inspire us with their epic, heady, and whoozy concoction of oh-my-god-I-must-be-dreaming songs.


~ by artmalikwolf on September 28, 2009.

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