Posted by: Nick | January 8, 2009

Vinyl Purchase of the Week: Animal Collective- Merriweather Post Pavilion

After hearing this album last month, I was biting at the bit to pick up Animal Collective‘s 2LP vinyl of  Merriweather Post Pavilion released on Tuesday, January 6 (the CD will be released on Jan. 20).  Ear x-tacy sold every copy they had by 3pm, but I was able to grab one of the last copies at Underground Sound (they ordered 15+ copies).  To start, I should note that I have never been a big Animal Collective fan.  I liked Feels, but it never really stuck on my playlist, or my mind.  They really lost me with Strawberry Jam and I basically wrote AC off as a band I would ever like.  While my feelings about their older albums have not changed, you can call me an Animal Collective fan now (at least post-2008).

Merriweather is one of those rare albums where every song is your favorite song on the album when it is playing.  It blends the rough waves of sound that defined their old stuff with pop vocals that are not confined by any space.  Combine this with a hypnotizing electro background and the occassional hand clapping and you have, not only a listenable album, but one that carries you away.  You would fall in to a trance, if your head wasn’t nodding with the beat (similar to the effect of staring at the album cover too long).

Like, I said before, I can’t pick a favorite song.  There are only 11 tracks, but the album is almost an hour long (thus the 2LP).   The two most popular songs  as far as what the bloggers have been posting are “My Girls” and “Brothersport” (they also are the tracks that leaked prior to the album’s release, see below).  Hank (of Backseat Sanbar) described “Brothersport” as what Vampire Weekend would have done, if they did the afro-beat update right, but that is a whole other discussion.  Bottom line is that once you listen to this album, you will be hooked.  If you were turned off to AC in the past, as I was, give them another shot.  As more and more people give it a spin, AC will see its fanbase expand beyond those who have defended their genius for years.

As a back story to the album’s name, the band included an explanation (along with a digital download code) in the album sleeve.  It stated:

“Merriweather Post Pavilion is an outdoor music venue in a place called Symphony Woods in Columbia, Maryland.  It was designed by Frank Gehry inthe 1960’s, and they’ve been having concerts there from 1967 up thorugh today.  We used to go to shows there while growing up and have fond memories of time spent on the lawn.  For most of the time we’ve been playing together, both in Animal Collective and the years before, we’ve tried to make music that would be deserving of an amazing outdoor listening experience.  As both a name and a  place, Merriweather Post Pavilion represents this for us.”

For one, I think this album would be amazing to hear live at an outdoor venue.  Who wants to take bets that they make a stop in Columbia, Maryland on their tour?

Other reviews:

My brother at We Listen for You one-up’d Pitchfork’s 9.6, giving the album a 9.8.  On the other hand, the blog Surviving the Golden Age is gaining notoriety for the 0.6/10 that it gave the album (“officially becomming the most indie person ever.”)

Animal Collective- My Girls

Animal Collective- Brothersport

Full Track Listing:

1. In the Flowers
2. My Girls
3. Also Frightened
4. Summertime Clothes
5. Daily Routine
6. Bluish
7. Guys Eyes
8. Taste
9. Lion in a Coma
10. No More Runnin
11. Brothersport

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Responses

  1. I’m a huge AC fan, and I feel like I was the only person who didn’t like MPP. I think your review is great, though, it’s just that I think I miss the crazy noise shit they did in earlier times. So I guess my blog and Surviving the Golden Age are the only two lukewarm/negative reviews out there, though for completely different reasons. Thanks for pointing me to an ally, though.


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