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Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion

Joe Marshall
Joe Marshall 13 January at 22.48
Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion Cover

While it would be difficult to overstate the impact of Animal Collective, not to mention their myriad side-projects, on the current US independent scene...

While it would be difficult to overstate the impact of Animal Collective, not to mention their myriad side-projects, on the current US independent scene the band’s last record, 07s ‘Strawberry Jam’, was regarded by many as something of a misstep. Perhaps understandably, the majority of reservations centred upon the album’s treble-heavy production, which undoubtedly possessed the capability to reduce even the hardiest pair of ears to a tinnitus-addled mush. Consequently, it’s Rock Sound’s pleasure to report that, in this respect at least, ‘Merriweather Post Pavilion’ represents an abrupt about-face; gone are the ear-bleeding shards of day-glo noise, to be replaced with an altogether warmer, if no less electronic, sound. However, production issues aside, it’s business as usual for the group as they continue to explore an increasingly pop-oriented sound which, for the most part, works brilliantly. Opener ‘In The Flowers’ is particularly astounding, obliterating Avey Tare’s seasick melody in a glorious blast of iridescent noise, while the central refrain of ‘My Girls’ is nothing less than irresistible. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the album can’t quite maintain this quality but there are more than enough moments of wide-eyed beauty to suggest that this one will be featuring prominently on many end of year lists come December 09.

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