It’s hard to know where to begin when reviewing this album; very rarely is this avid music vampire left speechless, but this New York/Washington-based three-piece may as well have sewn my lips shut.
‘Merriweather Post Pavilion’, their ninth studio album, is a kaleidoscopic, mesmerising swirl of music and colour, electric, tender and escaping definition. The album’s opener ‘In the flowers’, like most of the record, begins with prolonged atmospherics, setting the level of intimate wonderment and euphoria from this outset.
The line “If I could just leave my body for a night” not only brings in a powerful and uplifting techno beat, but gives an apt synopsis of the escapist and surreal sound that Animal Collective have perfected on this record, merging and melding a large number of styles without seeming pretentious, or settling for the easy beat or the catchy hook.
The standout track on the album, ‘Summertime Clothes’, is a chirpy, joyful march, and by far the catchiest tune on the record, and avoids the sickening pitfall of alternative electro bands that make music reminiscent of ringtones, à la MGMT. Therefore, if you like the aforementioned New Yorkers, steer clear of this record. If, however, you like modern, genre-bending psychedelic bliss tied into a good, old-fashioned Beach Boys trip out, this album is for you.