Merriweather Post Pavilion
Verdict = The greatest working band alive
Remember how Feels was Animal Collective’s “pop” album? And then Strawberry Jam was AC’s “pop” album? And now Merriweather Post Pavilion. I think it is about time that we recognize that Animal Collective have always made “pop” music, granted their version of pop music is decidedly, um…how to put this – unique. It’s by no means the type of pop music you’ll find buddying up to Britney Spears any time soon. However, yes, of course it’s pop. I don’t know if the band has really become that much more accessible either. I just think that the general indie public has become more accustomed to AC’s idiosyncrasies over time and therefore increasingly accepting of their particular brand of mutant pop. It’s not just that though. It seems that ever since the success and utter genius of Sung Tongs, little Animal Collectivisms have permeated the landscape of modern pop, stretching it to its outer most bounds. Even so, Animal Collective is a singular beast that will never be duplicated. The only other active band that I am aware of who have maintained such a high level of creative output over such a long period of time is Radiohead. And so it is that we here at (the appropriately named) Forest Gospel have drooled incessantly over the news of this most recent and definitely most hyped Animal Collective album the band has ever released. I would like to note that my ears remained virgin to any Animal Collective sound attributed to MPP until the needle of my turntable properly touched down on the delicious 2LP I purchased yesterday. That means, for better or worse, that no leaked singles or Christmas rips once caught my ears to prepare me for the ensuing rapture. Rapture indeed! Not that we didn’t already know, but it bears stating that we here at Forest Gospel (most likely unanimously) agree that Animal Collective is most definitely the greatest working band in all of music today if not in the last twenty years. That’s right, bring on the backlash because there is nothing that can dissuade me from this sentiment. The thing I don’t understand is those people I see posting on message boards and what not that are all: “I don’t get Animal Collective, there is just no melody” or “it just sounds like noise to me” or “how can people even call this music.” I’ve seen quite a few likeminded comments lately and all I can think to myself is that these people have absolutely no idea what music is if they can’t hear the melodies, harmonies, time signatures and appreciate the utter magnificence that comes to bare in Animal Collective’s song structures. I realize that I am starting to come off like a belligerent fanboy, but seriously, it doesn’t make any sense. This is pop music people, it’s not that difficult. Anyway [soapbox descended], MPP: this thing has already been and will for a long time in the future be dissected song by song and instrument by instrument within said songs; so I’ll be relatively brief and properly incoherent. It’s like: shazam – bass! And: move over Beach Boys, Animal Collective is vocal harmonies. Or: was that a Person Pitch b-side with unicorns shooting rainbow lasers out of their ears? And also: welcome back vocal effects, we’ve missed you. Plus: Avey Bear and Panda Tare are great, aren’t they? Conclusion: Animal Collective sure know what the kids like, AKA, metaphysical Navaho raves must be something like this. Anyway, it’s just going to be hard to focus for the rest of 2009 knowing that I’ve already heard the best album of the year and we’re only 7 days in. I guess that’s what you get with a “9.6.”
"My Girls" live at Coachella 08'