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New Album Review

88.1 WKNC Pick of the Week 2/3

Animal Collective releases best album yet
Seth White

Named after the famous Maryland venue, Merriweather Post Pavilion is Animal Collective’s ninth record and its finest one to date.

It’s hard to describe the sound of AC to someone who has never heard them. Their songs have only a thin layer of typical structure and enough melodic repetition that may turn away your average listener at first. But much like Radiohead’s Kid A or Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot after a few listens your mind reaches past the barriers of traditional music and discovers the real genius ahead.

On its latest album, the band continues to experiment with all possible sounds blending psychedelic, electronic and progressive rock into new sounds all their own. “In the Flowers” but the turn it takes after that is what makes this album so special.

The vocals of Avey Tare (David Portner) and Panda Bear (Noah Lennox) then become reminiscent of The Beach Boys and The Beatles and combined with the high pitch synthesizer and the pulse beat drum welcome you to their own style.

The following track, “My Girls,” captures of the essence of the album as a whole. It builds a slow start that rises to a peak that isn’t there. Instead you are left drifting pleasantly from one note to the next until they slowly disappear. The lyrics, “There isn’t much that I feel I need / A solid soul and the blood I bleed,” retract to innocent childish ideas and routines, the overall theme.

“Summertime Clothes” starts out with a militaristic stomp which then glides to a catchy verse–chorus–verse outfit and back again. At the center of the song, the varied and competing vocals will cater to any of AC’s former fans needs and will attract the attention of first time listeners.

The album ends on one of their best, “Brother Sport,” a phenomenal upbeat closer about moving forward.

Animal Collective has continually changed their sound from one album to the next. Even though each album has been wonderful in it’s own way, Merriweather Post Pavilion takes the cake by combining all the best previous elements together to find a perfect niche for the band.

Merriweather Post Pavilion won’t catch everybody. Listeners who hear bits and pieces will be lost in confusion, but those who truly take the time to let this album run it’s course will be left nothing short of inspired. And if nothing else at least take a look at the cool album artwork.

88.1 WKNC DJ Pick of the Week is published in every Tuesday print edition of the Technician, as well as online at technicianonline.com and wknc.org.

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