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Track-By-Track

Animal Collective's Merriweather Post Pavilion Track-By-Track Review
Alex Denney , December 5th, 2008 09:08

Alex Denney heads to an underground bunker to give Animal Collective's new album the once over. We've added YouTube bits and piece to make your previewing experience complete

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Animal Collective

‘In The Flowers’

Formerly known as ‘Dancer’ but presumably changed in honour of The Killers’ recent ‘owning’ of that particular word, this is a terrific opener that finds the band in full-on, anthemic rave mode with tumbling, house-ish piano and stomping beats. A logical conclusion to tracks like ‘Fireworks’ off Strawberry Jam, this is like the best come-up you never had, and even more amazing than that.

‘My Girls’

The global mash-up continues apace on this number which comes on like The Source’s ‘U Got The Love’ stuck in a fortuitous-sounding CD skip. All synthetic handclaps and bonkers bass drops, it’s amazing how the band is able to home in on these little moments of joy and stretch them out to an infinity.

‘Also Frightened’

Opening with tabla drums and weaving complex vocals over heavy, spare rhythms, this number felt like a lot to take in over one sitting but does culminate in a beautiful, baffling refrain of “are you also frightening?”

‘Summertime Clothes’

The opening verse is all bass drum and no snare creating that giddy, barely-contained vibe the group excels in, then suddenly the chorus rushes in and you realise they’re attempting some kind of bizarro-glam thing which sounds improbably like the flighty cousin of Goldfrapp’s ‘Strict Machine’. This here is new territory, folks.

‘Daily Routine’

A lolling, nodding waltz rudely punctuated by wild splurges of buzzing synth. The track eventually segues into one of those god-in-a-flower, sleepy-lidded reveries which abounded on Person Pitch. Often the band’s records open in a hail of pop paroxysms and become progressively more ambient and serene as the run-time mounts up; perhaps this is meant to usher in the less structured part of the album?

‘Bluish’

…apparently not. This sounds unnervingly close to conventionally structured pop, albeit the hymnal, entirely wonderful kind – you could put pan pipes on this one and it’s still sound ace. Wait a minute, are they pan pipes we can hear?

‘Guy’s Eyes’

A juddering, stop-start percussion job with some ambitious and divergent vocal parts.

‘Taste’

Churning, almost industrial rhythms are neatly juxtaposed with Lennox’s signature echo chamber vocals. The probably-bollocks, somehow-still-amazing line “am I really all the things that are outside of me?” reeks of him as well. No-one does mystical guff like these guys.

‘Lion In A Coma’

More of an Avey-style curio, this one; fractured beats locking in and out of step with the vocals and a weird, didgeridoo-like accompaniment just for the pure WTF? of it.

‘No More Runnin’’

A languid number recalling the blissful stasis of Sung Tongs’ latter half, perhaps, the vocals are really allowed to soar on this rather shapeless track.

‘Brothersport’

The one that got Grizzly Bear into lumber when they linked to the track on their blog as their favourite AC song since ‘Leaf House’. They’re not far wrong either, stuttering tribal chants giving way to a techno interlude before the band busts out one of its most instantly memorable vocal melodies to date. Expansive and utterly euphoric, it sounds like Ministry Of Sound doing Graceland. But with more of a tropicalia vibe. And sirens. Fuck me, this is brilliant.

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Shelby Wilson
Dec 19, 2008 8:10pm

Very much so looking forward to the release of Merriweather on 20th of January!

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