Arts & Entertainment, The Muse

Animal Collective on a leash

On Merriweather Post Pavilion, the eighth studio album from Animal Collective, the band did something shocking: there’s not one song that exceeds six minutes. Considering ‘Visiting Friends’ from earlier album Sung Tongs exceeded the 12-minute marker, this is quite a surprise.

Named after a music venue in the band’s hometown of Baltimor, Pavilion’-‘- like the rest of the band’s catalog’-‘- has plenty of WTF moments, but only in a mind-boggled, extremely impressed sort of way.

The album opens with ‘In the Flowers,’ an eeriely, slow building track which eventually erupts into a crescendo of euphoric distortion. The album carries on with this trademark style ‘-‘- lush Beach Boys-esque vocals coat creepy yet beautiful productions that sound almost ethereal. However, that’s not to say the line isn’t crossed sometimes. ‘Daily Routine,’ which has an almost tribal vibe to it, interjects random vocals and sounds of near-static at certain points during the verses for a jarring listening experience.

Still, it is tracks like ‘Summertime Clothes’ that make the album worthwhile. The song is a swirling, foot-stompingly approved, almost jolly affair. Have the wild animals been tamed? Of course not, but they are on their best behavior for new listeners looking to venture into a wild soundscape.

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