Tangerine Reef

Animal Collective - Tangerine Reef
Critic Score
Based on 21 reviews
2018 Ratings: #792 / 831
User Score
Based on 227 ratings
2018 Ratings: #684
Liked by 2 people
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Northern Transmissions
The album is beautifully conceived, and works great as a listen in one sitting. Close your eyes and let the uncanny yet strangely funny sea creatures flit around.

Tangerine Reef is a project that may likely polarize Animal Collective fans, and it may not be an ideal jumping-off point for anyone looking to discover this unique band, but it's a worthy addition to their catalog, and it supports a supremely important cause in this day and age.

NOW Magazine
Fans of AnCo’s more upbeat and animated works probably won’t love this album, but it is successful in its experimentation and as an affirmation that they have and always will have something unique to bring to the table.
It's not necessarily a masterpiece nor was it ever meant to be a grand statement that'd capture everyone's attention; a low-key unveiling is more fitting, for it's the Collective's return to form, except in a way that nobody expected.
Drowned in Sound
The result is an album steeped in murky ambiance and stuffy reverb, celestial and ghostly, minute details strewn across the soundwaves to emulate the floating presences of the minute, drifting sea creatures.

Like any visual album, the floating sounds here are probably best experienced in conjunction with the visuals they were created for, but even on their own, there's a calm power that grows as the various passages of Tangerine Reef fade in and out of one another.

The music itself is beautiful and expansive, if slow and occasionally stagnant, and the perspective it asks you to take offers relief from the anxious refrain of climate doom.

With Tangerine Reef, Animal Collective’s second audiovisual album, the band leans deep into its nautical tendencies, crafting a surreal soundtrack for “avant-garde coral macro-videography” (read: underwater footage of coral reefs).


For fans of Animal Collective's trippier inclinations, Tangerine Reef is a pleasant bit of oceanic escapism. For new listeners or anyone looking for the next "My Girls," this is decidedly inessential.

The Line of Best Fit

I have no doubt that Tangerine Reef will be a remarkable experience when paired with its visual stimuli, but without it, it is an album hard to recommend.

Spectrum Culture
This is the most relaxed and easygoing thing they’ve billed as a full album in over a decade.
This might not be as immediate and catchy as previous Animal Collective releases, possibly due to Panda Bear’s absence, but its one of their most transfixing and beguiling.
Under The Radar

Tangerine Reef has its moments, but it veers in and out of being truly engaging all on its own.

The 405

While Tangerine Reef inspires as a pseudo-political statement regarding the deteriorating environment at the hands of mankind, Animal Collective ultimately disappoints with this record—it’s yet another forgettable checkpoint within the band’s recent run.

FLOOD Magazine

Too much of Tangerine Reef feels like ambient murk in service of nothing.

A.V. Club

The worst way to engage with Tangerine Reef is by listening to it.

The Independent
As an environmental art project raising awareness of endangered coral (it commemorates the 2018 International Year of the Reef), it is laudable. As a listening experience, it is impenetrable.
The Observer

In search, perhaps, of something more profound than the Beach Boys-haunted lo-fi surrealism of early albums, or the fizzing avant-garde electropop that became their calling card after 2009 breakthough album Merriweather Post Pavilion, AC plumb depths of paucity more than subtlety in this wilfully desolate expanse of dispassionate vocals and vague, awkward ambience.

Tiny Mix Tapes

Tangerine Reef is more like the sound of pretending to experience something profound.

By the end of its relentlessly boring sonic onslaught, you may be the one that feels like an endangered species.
Tangerine Reef is an extremely underestimated album, either by Animal Collective fans or ordinary listeners.
I don't quite know what the reason for this is, but it seems to me that such a radical change in sound and the introduction of so many minimalistic solutions to the sound of a band that was famous for its splendid sound could seem strange and unfavourable. And maybe there is something in it because it is not the best Animal Collective album, there are no individual tracks here that ... read more
This wasn't a fun listen. I enjoyed the first 2 songs, then I checked how long the album had been playing for... I then started crying. This album is way longer than it has any right to be, this is 52-fucking-minutes of nothing at all. Nothing fucking happens for that length of time, that's almost an hour of textual nothing, and the blandest of bland ambience. This album is meant to sound like being under the sea, but fuck if this is what the ocean sounds like then I'm not going down there, ... read more
EDIT: it's not as bad as i used to think it was but jesus christ is it still one of the most boring and texturally banal ambient records i've ever heard. nothing here is stimulating in the slightest. it might as well be white noise

i'm back! sorry i havent done a review in a few days, i set up a modded minecraft server that i've been playing a lot, and i also havent listened to much new music since TOoMD came out. but im back, and daily reviews should return. NOW, on to this review

god. ... read more
Reminds me a lot of their Campfire Songs album from 2003, back when music fans weren't insanely fickle and self-entitled about what kind of album they thought they deserved from an already-established band...

Favorite Track: Palythoa
They finally decided to reinvent the meta rather than perfecting the correct psychedelia of the year... Parenthood inspires them to take seemingly one trip through their dark cold salvia-infested woods, but this time submerged in a 10 feet deep ocean. If Merriweather is the Kind of Blue of Neo-Psychedelica, this is its Bitches Brew.

Be patient with this one, and watch it bloom.
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Track List

  1. Hair Cutter
  2. Buffalo Tomato
  3. Inspector Gadget
  4. Buxom
  5. Coral Understanding
  6. Airpipe (To a New Transition)
  7. Jake and Me
  8. Coral by Numbers
  9. Hip Sponge
  10. Coral Realization
  11. Lundsten Coral
  12. Palythoa
  13. Best of Times (Worst of All)
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Added on: July 8, 2018