Merriweather Post Pavilion
The unusual, avantgarde and sometimes Portugalbased trio has explored the freakfolk, noise rock, ambient, and even African tribal beats in more bizarre ways with each release. Merriweather Post Pavilion, their ninth album, is no exception to the madness that makes Animal Collective. But this time, it’s wrapped in a more approachable package.
With a dream-like feel, distant rhythmic clapping, and the subtle sound of a water droplet of “In the Flowers” — the opening track for Merriweather — Animal Collective proves to be more than just tolerable this time around. The second track and current single “My Girls” is as colorful and vibrant as its music video; all three members’ vocals overlap at times with repetition, which is very characteristic of this and past albums from the band.
“Daily Routine” and “Bluish” possess very different qualities. The former, with its high, echoing vocals, is not as complex as the rest of the tracks on this album, while the latter has a more subtle tone, sweet vocals and a very organized structure.
Two years ago, my friend couldn’t understand why I didn’t absolutely love “The Purple Bottle” off the Feels album; the track was noisy, obnoxious, intriguing, high pitched and just too much for me to deal with. “Guys Eyes” off Merriweather, with its lively world sounds, noisy rain, and repetitive and overwhelming vocals, reminded me a lot of the track that made me stray away from Animal Collective before.
The unusual, avant-garde and sometimes Portugal-based trio has explored the freak-folk, noise rock, ambient, and even African tribal beats in more bizarre ways with each release.
The middle of the album is not as approachable as the first two tracks. “Taste” is the last song from the multilayered middle of the record, followed by “Lion in a Coma,” which stands out through its whimsical introduction and complex vocals of high pitches and whispers. “No More Runnin’ ” is my second favorite track, with its water splashing background noise, frog croaks and other forest-like sounds in a very subtle and quiet way. “No More Runnin’ ” epitomizes the “outdoor music” idea behind the title, Merriweather Post Pavilion, an outdoor venue in Maryland.
Wrapping up Merriweather is “Brothersport” — my favorite song — holding together all the themes of the record into one fun, magical, insane and tolerably repetitive track.
Overall, Merriweather Post Pavilion is Animal Collective-virgin-ears-friendly. From the concept, to the album cover art, this record will make you see this kooky trio in a whole new light, and if lucky, even help you forget those disturbing promo shots for Strawberry Jam with their chests covered in, ahem, sticky strawberry jam. Animal Collective are: Avey Tare (David Portner), Panda Bear (Noah Lennox), And Geologist (Brian Weitz).
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Review By Diana Galban