via Animal Collective
I feel compelled to begin this post with the following disclaimer: I am not a die-hard Animal Collective fan. By no means am I an expert since I have not listened to every AC song ever created in all of its existing forms. Under normal circumstances, I would not spend Christmas Day on Ateaseweb (David, I blame you for introducing me), scouring the boards for a decent quality leak of Merriweather Post Pavillion. I'm sharing this unnecessary information to implore you to listen to this album, even if you've never been an Animal Collective fan. I've been jokingly calling it cocaine for your ears, but somehow that convinced some of my friends to check it out.
It's true. I saw Animal Collective at All Points West last summer, and it made me want to die. The sound balance was nonexistent, and all I could hear was painful noise. But, unknowingly, my love affair with MPP had begun that day after hearing "House" (now "My Girls") and "Brothersport." I'm not really a fan of Strawberry Jam, and I still can't get myself to listen to that album. But, these other songs at APW were actually enjoyable. By the time that the studio version of "My Girls" leaked, Merriweather Post Pavillion had become my most anticipated album of 2009.
My awful travels home were quickly forgotten with the Christmas surprise of MPP, which I've been constantly playing for nearly two weeks now. I think Fluxblog's post pretty much sums up my feelings on Strawberry Jam and my reaction to this new album. Merriweather Post Pavillion is not perfect (what album is?), but it's one of the strongest overall records I've heard in awhile. It may disappoint some of you that there's nothing on this album that sounds like "Peacebone" and "Fireworks," but that is one of the reasons why I actually enjoy this album. Animal Collective really strove to find a middle ground in all the elements that essentially make up their signature sound so that the components would be allowed work together to create a pleasant sound. MPP is poppy without making you gag by being too sweet; it's chaotic without sounding excessively noisy. Most of the tracks (especially the Panda Bear ones) are very repetitive, but I do not find myself losing interest in this album. Okay, I admit that some of the mushy lyrics make me gag a little, but that may just be me. Can't blame the guys for falling in love with their wives and families.
The catchiest tune and my favorite track (until I played it out) is "My Girls," which is the ultimate sing-along song for indie kids who like to sing in rounds. When you listen to the synth intro to "Bluish," you may get confused and think you are listening to MGMT. But, like my friend David said, "Bluish" is what would be created if MGMT actually had talent. To be honest, I wish I hadn't heard "My Girls" or "Brothersport" without the context of the album in its entirety. I only have myself to blame for that, so I guess Animal Collective was right in not wanting pieces of MPP being leaked. Damn, I can only imagine losing my mind as "In the Flowers" transitions into "My Girls" or as the album closes with "Brothersport." So, although I've posted my latest favorites below, please do not play them out without listening to the entire album from start to finish. Merriweather Post Pavillion is available today on vinyl. Wait until January 20 for the full release.
I was serious about listening to the album in its entirety. Please purchase Merriweather Post Pavillion and listen from start to finish. That's how it was meant to be enjoyed, and enjoy it you will. Beware, this is some addicting stuff. MPP is a summer album that you'll be listening to all year round.
Tracks taken down per Web Sheriff's request...I'm also on MOG.