Merriweather Post Pavilion

Studio Album by released in 2009

Merriweather Post Pavilion review

A never-ending experiment

The band Animal Collective was formed by four members two of which have been good friends since childhood. All of them are known both by their real and nicknames and all contribute to the vocals and songwriting, so it is rather hard to call any of the members a front one. Avey Tare (David Portner) performs vocal parts, plays guitar and percussion and works on samples, Deakin (Josh Dibb) plays guitar and sings, Geologist (Brian Weitz) is responsible for the electronics, samples and also contributes vocals and Panda Bear (Noah Lennox) performs vocals, plays percussion, works on samples, and plays guitar. The music of Animal Collective is quite difficult to classify stylistically as starting with the 2000’s debut Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished the guys never stop experimenting with styles and directions always seeking a harmonious and aesthetically beautiful sound. This year their ninth record Merriweather Post Pavilion is released and pretends to be one of the best albums both in their discography and in the new year.

Merriweather Post Pavilion is listened at a breath

Album Merriweather Post Pavilion lasting a bit longer than 55 is the longest recorded since the debut one and for the first time does not contain a track over 6 minute long. The title is taken from the name of a concert venue in Columbia, Maryland where the album was recorded and where the members used to go to concerts. It is that very out-door recording the guys have always dreamt to make and are now really happy with the result. In fact their happiness is by no means groundless. The album is listened at a breath and none of its tracks can be called weaker than the rest of them. Composition In The Flowers surprises with a complicated combination of strange sounds of unknown origin and magic vocals and synthesizers which continues on a vocally denser My Girls with the chorus repeated a great amount of times and a perfect unpredictable rhythm. A somewhat harder track Summertime Clothes pleases with great harmonies of vocals and the instruments among which the synthesizers once again dominate. One of the album undoubted highlights is Daily Routine, a song that first strikes with penetrating keyboards and then conquers with unearthly vocals and a nice catchy tune. Another outstanding track Lion In A Coma is refined with the sounds of a jew’s-harp and filled with contagious audio effects and the album closer is one of the best songs from Animal Collective, Brothersport on which the combination of a choir singing and serene is sure to leave nobody indifferent.

Animal Collective has remained itself

Just last year the four-piece Animal Collective has turned into a three-piece as Deakin decided to take a time out from working with the band, so Merriweather Post Pavilion has been recorded without him. Another member, Panda Bear, released his solo album Person Pitch at the same time and the collective’s new creation is naturally compared to it. Of course the members’ independence can complicate the things but it has nothing to do with Animal Collective. Their new ideas are quickly embodied in music which is demonstrated on every new album. Yet this time we could actually speak of a common aim of creating a quality and softer recording and Merriweather Post Pavilion is different from the band’s other creations in this respect. You will practically find none of those nervous hits which for instance one of its most successful albums, 2005’s Feels can boast. So as for the stylistic frames the ninth album is rather a turn to the pop music direction although, no doubt, it is far from a classic pop work. The 11 tracks of Merriweather Post Pavilion cannot be remembered from the first listening and yet conquer with their harmony so despite a less uncomfortable sound Animal Collective has still remained itself.