“If I Could Just Leave My Body for the Night”
A Review of Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavillion
- Written by Stuck Between Stations co-host Nick Ubels
After months of pre-release buzz and internet hype, expectations are suitably running high for Animal Collective’s latest full-length. And while it is fair to approach Merriweather Post Pavilion with a touch of scepticism considering the disappointment or indifference that almost invariably occurs after such hotly anticipated releases finally hit store shelves, this is an album that’s more than deserving of the attention it has drawn. With their eighth studio release, the Baltimore trio has distilled their best elements into a striking collection of avant garde pop gems, opening 2009’s record season with an album sure to stack up to be among the year’s best.
“In the Flowers” kicks things off with a wall of whirling synthesizers and it is evident from the outset that the Collective are interested in exploring somewhat more electronic territory than on any of their previous efforts. While the band has always flirted with these sorts of textures in their music, Pavilion finds them fleshing out their unconventionally pervasive melodies, tribal percussion, and rich harmony with layers of synth loops and pulsing drum machines.
Other album highlights include the incredibly addictive ode to domestic life, “My Girls” and the startlingly mellow, “No More Runnin”, a track drenched in sublime harmony reminiscent of the Beach Boys.
Ultimately, Merriweather Post Pavilion is a much more focused effort from Panda Bear & Co. The band seems less inclined to indulge in jammy freakouts and more interested in how to best serve their songs. Animal Collective aren’t playing it safe here, but taking a mature step forward in the way they make music and their fans are sure to reap the benefits.
Animal Collective will be bringing their experimental pop stylings to The Commodore Ballroom May 24, 2009. Tickets are available here: http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/110042348958702F?artistid=1002814&majorcatid=10001&minorcatid=1
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