After three years, Animal Collective is back with their follow up to the smash hit Merriweather Post Pavilion — and it isn’t that bad. Up until 2009, I was familiar with the band by name and knew next to nothing about their sound; that changed almost overnight. I picked up several of their releases and began to let the fuzz and synth wash over me. It didn’t take long for me to realize why Merriweather made it to the top of so many lists that year, considering it had the sonic boom and slow burn you weren’t finding anywhere else in music. However I also enjoyed their previous efforts, like Strawberry Jam and Sung Tongs, which were also drenched with synth and reverb, yet there was a certain rock quality to both of those records. For their latest outing it would appear that the Collective have gone back to their garage roots and still bring the noise with a little synth.
Some reviews might lead you to believe this album is some huge departure for the band’s sound – and that would be true you were basing it off of Merriweather and nothing else. If you happen to be familiar with earlier recordings by the band, you’ll know that this is nothing out of the norm for them, and it is a little refreshing to hear some drums blended into the mix.
What I like about the album is that it sounds much more beat driven than Merriweather, and some of the guitar work is also pretty fun. You can tell there are clear cut songs and these guys rock a lot more than MGMT do. The swirling vocals will pull you in and create a world that you can drift off to.
If you need a few tracks to check: “Applesauce”, “Moonjock”, “Father Time”, “Mercury Man” and “Pulleys”. There are some parts that you might think the band recorded while floating in space and I have often thought that intelligent life forms would dig Animal Collective. Who knows, Avid Reader? Maybe they are reading my posts as we speak.
You can tell this album was not created to best their previous effort and that’s fine. More often than not, when a band or artist have a massive success on one album they’ll turn it down a little bit for their next release. If the band were to stay in this direction I don’t think it would be a bad thing, considering you might be used to it already. Try a few tracks for yourself to make sure and you just might have some fun.