The Phoenix Network:
 
 
About  |  Advertise
Adult  |  Blogs  |  In Pictures
 

Review: Animal Collective, Merriweather Post Pavilion

Domino (2009)
By MICHAEL PATRICK BRADY  |  January 6, 2009
2.5 2.5 Stars

091090_ac_main5

Animal Collective began as a band of fringe weirdos, but over time they've dropped the freak from their folk and shed the frenzied noisemaking and impenetrable aura that created much of their early mystique. Merriweather Post Pavilion further smoothes out their sound, and though it's full of cool, orchestrated beauty, it lacks the playfulness and spontaneity that endeared so many to this group.

The best track, "My Girls," starts with a glittering recursive melody over which Panda Bear and Avey Tare unfurl their intricate harmonies, putting a greater emphasis on lyrics here than ever before. The song is a complicated ode to simplicity: "I just want four walls and adobe slabs," they sing, "for my girls," and it all benefits from the implementation of synths and drum machines. Tare wins big with the sweetly sung song of unrequited love, "Bluish"; his vocal recalls some of the finer moments of Feels as it overwhelms the uninspiring, reverb-heavy guitar loop accompaniment.

Overall, though, the move away from organic instrumentation has dampened Animal Collective's spirits; once fluid and anarchic, they've become patterned and precise, unwilling to color outside the lines, more animatronic than animalistic. "Guys Eyes," "Daily Routine," and "Taste" adhere to what becomes a familiar formula: overlapping harmonies and pulsating beats blurring into indistinct memories.

  Topics: CD Reviews , Animal Collective, Animal Collective, Dave Portner,  More more >
| More


[ 04/17 ]   New Madrid  @ Fete Lounge
[ 04/17 ]   Veronica Meadows, by Stephen Thorne  @ Trinity Repertory Company
ARTICLES BY MICHAEL PATRICK BRADY
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   THE FALL | YOUR FUTURE OUR CLUTTER  |  April 27, 2010
    If you didn’t know any better, you might think that Your Future Our Clutter is a recording of a raving old lunatic heckling a very solid instrumental band.
  •   SAM AMIDON | I SEE THE SIGN  |  April 15, 2010
    Sam Amidon is fascinated with the songbook of old Americana, and his radical yet tasteful reimaginings of traditional folk ballads and hymns breathe new life into a form often seen as quaint and old-fashioned.
  •   RED SPAROWES | THE FEAR IS EXCRUCIATING, BUT THEREIN LIES THE ANSWER  |  March 30, 2010
    Post-rock bands are like silent-film actors — bereft of words, they tend to use broad gestures to ensure that you get the point.
  •   THESE NEW PURITANS | HIDDEN  |  March 09, 2010
    Hidden is a real UK horror show, mixing grim, industrial beats with mannered, regal horns and a persistent aura of foggy uneasiness. These New Puritans reveal a penchant for æsthetic violence and revolutionary action that, though rarely convincing, matches the uncompromising intensity and martial tenor of the music.
  •   CLOGS | THE CREATURES IN THE GARDEN OF LADY WALTON  |  March 03, 2010
    Fusion experimenters Clogs take a modern approach to folk-flavored chamber music.

 See all articles by: MICHAEL PATRICK BRADY



  |  Sign In  |  Register
 
thePhoenix.com:
Phoenix Media/Communications Group:
TODAY'S FEATURED ADVERTISERS
Copyright © 2014 The Phoenix Media/Communications Group