Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Merriweather Post Pavilion

Don't try and make sense of Animal Collective's ninth studio album, just dim the lights, lie down, and let it all soak in. Let the salty spray of their psychedelic splash make your senses tingle like ecstasy for the ears, their sound swirling from the speakers like pixie dust. The avant-guard art-rock trio - who go by Avey Tare, Geologist and Panda Bear - combine equal parts ambient trance, Beatles pop and Beach Boys melodies on Merriweather Post Pavilion, creating an atmosphere of spastic calm and disarming ease. It's the anti-soundtrack to today's troubled times, a veritable joyride of musical experimentation and sensual sonic manipulations.

"My Girls" unfolds a lush tapestry of tinkering bells, claps, booms and chants, eliciting a campfire of dancing blue flames that pulses as it plays out like a peace-nick tribal ceremony. "Summertime Clothes" swings like a free-wheeling revival of John, Paul, George and Ringo, big vocals embraced by pronounced musical arcs, and "Bluish" is a tender swoon with a soulful swagger. "Lion In A Coma" whips up a bouncing blend of Paul Simon world beats circa "You Can Call Me Al" and the Police in all their minimalistic, body-shaking glory.

For those who like their music off the beaten path, Merriweather Post Pavilion is more than just Album of the Year material - it's the stuff obsessions are made of.

RATING: * * * * 1/2

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