The optical illusion above has probably become one of the most blogged-about pictures of the past few weeks, as the internets have gone crazy for what people are already calling, the best album of 2009. Merriweather Post Pavillion is Animal Collective’s 9th album, and the journey they’ve taken to get to it is fairly incredible and sonically unique. The title of this post is a dedication to one of my best friends, who has been all about Panda Bear, the Geologist, Avey Tare and Deakin (the four animals that make up the Collective) for years. He and I trade music and oppinions all the time, and many people consider us to be pretty much the same person, other than our one resounding difference – our feelings for this very band.
With their last (acclaimed) record Strawberry Jam I remember thinking that if my bread-spread tasted anything like the album sounded, I’d be vomming non-stop. While I did enjoy the bold soundscape, and appreciate songs like Fireworks, Cuckoo Cuckoo, Unsolved Mysteries and Winter Wonderland, I never felt that they were listenable, or that I could listen to them frequently. The music required a simultaneously involved and uninvolved perspective to appreciate, that I just couldn’t access. I gave up on the record, and later came back to it because of Mark’s insistance that this band was years ahead of its time, that music in 30 years would sound like this, and that with each album they were getting more and more accessible.
After listening to their latest effort, I can now say that I agree with Mark. Yes, this might be their most “accessible” music to date .. but by no means is it Britney bitch (by that I mean pop). There are times when I listen to an album and have thoughts rushing to my head to express about it and then there are other times when the music leaves me moved and without words. I thought to myself, earlier today, while listening to the sixth song on the album Bluish, that I hadn’t felt this sensation listening to an album since Arcade Fire’s Funeral.
The album is a fusion of noise pop, freak folk, Afro-tribal, experimental (and a bunch of others that only Sabrina would be able to name and tell you about) which result in a sound that you’re sure to not hear anywhere else. The lyrics are about the complexities of separating man from machine, modernity from the natural and love from violence – you know .. your basic Indie Rock themes … Oh and the Beach Boys comparisons are dead-on.
Dude, you win. We are now the same person.
Tags: Animal Collective