In Review: Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion

Here’s what I know about the new Animal Collective album, Merriweather Post Pavilion – you should listen to it. 

Music critics and bloggers everywhere are in a frenzy over this album, some claiming it the best of 2009. Hell, Pitchfork gave it a 9.6. When it comes to the music elitists of the indie scene nothing gets their mouth watering like that which is eclectic and experimental because it begs a certain level of musical sophistication to be appreciated. That or a trip on your favorite drug flavor.
But I guess you’re reading this to see what I think about MPP so I’ll make it simple. I like this album. No I’m not reeling over it and no I don’t think that Animal Collective are sonic gods. I think AC make textured, experimental, psychedelic rock that you have to really hear to enjoy. You have to spend time with it alone in your bedroom and sink into the circular rhythms and sounds that their instrumentation creates. You have to let go of the expectations pop music taught you about verse, chorus, and bridge and open yourself up to a different kind of song.
When you allow this to happen the “noise” surrounding the melody, lyrics, and vocals will transform from irritating to soothing and the core of the music will be more accessible to you. Suddenly you’ll notice the gorgeous four line climax in opening track “in the flowers” (then we could be dancing no more missing you while I am gone…), standout track “my girls” will get your feet moving and your parental emotions tingling, and “bluish” will have you wondering right along with lead vocalist Avery Tare “am I really all the things that are outside of me?”.
Or, you just won’t like it. And I can understand why you wouldn’t – it’s weird shit. For some the weird and unconventional is appealing. But if it isn’t to you that’s okay. You aren’t any less of an indie music fan if you don’t think MPP is the best thing that’s ever happened to 2009 (besides, we already know Barack Obama is).
Essentially the photograph on the back of the album sums up their sound nicely (pictured below) – you literally feel like you’re hearing it underwater. So take it for a swim and see what you think.

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