ORIGINAL SCORE: 92
you ever enjoyed something so much that you just can't put into words what about it you loved? like there's just too much to talk about, you can't get it out of your head and onto paper? that's me right now. i'm just overwhelmed by this album. utterly overwhelmed. and i feel like that was the point - i mean just look at the cover art: its an illusion meant to distort and overwhelm your brain into thinking there's movement when there isn't. i just want to jump into its distorted world and float around, fully consume a space where this exists. and fuck, does Merriweather Post Pavilion let you do that.
quick detour though, thank you guys so much for the support on these Animal Collective reviews. it means a lot that you all are enjoying them and it's driving me to take doing this more seriously. these reviews take some effort from me because i've never been much of a writer, but doing them helps me release my inner music demons out into words instead of up in my head constantly. thank you <3
OKAY BACK TO MPP BAYBEE
FUCK THIS ALBUM IS GOOD ISNT IT. it still blows my lil loser mind that a band as weird as Animal Collective could release an album as weird as Merriweather Post Pavilion and fucking CHART with it. AnCo just somehow ascended mainstream music cliche+trends, and made an album so good literally anyone could enjoy it. and hey, good on them, and even better on them for not watering down their sound and style just to do it. Merriweather is unmistakably Animal Collective.
one of the defining aspects of Merriweather is just how stunningly beautiful it is. when you go back through their discography, the only AnCo album that really reminds me of Merriweather sonically is their debut, Spirit They've Gone, Spirit They've Vanished. sure, Strawberry Jam was trending to the poppier song structures and identity that Merriweather fully dives into, but in terms of the sound, SB and MPP are worlds apart. with Spirit, however, you can hear some of those quaint, beautiful melodies in their purest form before they were fully explored upon in Merriweather. songs like Chocolate Girl, April And The Phantom, and Bat You'll Fly have really quaint, cute synth melodies that kinda float above them, with darker, noisier instrumentation beneath. and these melodies were some of my favorite parts on Spirit, and something i've been kinda disappointed haven't really shown themselves through AnCo's discography as much as i wanted. they perfectly create the feeling of childlike innocence and freedom that Animal Collective is ALL ABOUT, and yet they've been missing all this time. at least, up until Merriweather. Merriweather Post Pavilion, to me, is what Animal Collective's sound is. this is what they're all about. beautiful, overwhelming, weird, and powerful. this is truly the successor to their debut, and them in their purest sound.
now that i've got that out of the way, time to freeform list some of my favorite bits on this album, because i've tried and tried to write them out coherently and professionally, but god is there just too much to talk about with this album it's impossible for me.
In The Flowers, while it didnt hit me as hard at first, with subsequent listens, it's one of the prettiest things i've ever heard. the song starts serene and wavy, like you're swimming in a bright field of kelp deep underwater, and when those bright synths bust in it just transcends beauty into something even more powerful. i love the driving, distorted bass on Also Frightened that gives the song an off-kilter but danceable pulse, and Avery's vocal harmonies are just top notch. i love the 10/4 beat on Daily Routine, i dont know how mainstream pop audiences could possibly take and enjoy this song, but that's life i guess. Bluish is just a beautiful underwater space ballad that makes me smile every time i listen. the dual tracked vocals on Guys Eyes remind me of Bat You'll Fly off Spirit, but it's just so much prettier on Merriweather. the fucking, the jaw harp sample on Lion In A Coma is one of the most insane beats i think i've ever heard, and it FUCKING SLAPS DUDE. HOLY SHIT DOES THIS SONG BANG. MMMMMMMMMM YES. GOOD SONG. Brother Sport reminds me of something off Remain In Light, but made by fish swimming in a coral reef. and of course, My Girls. their biggest song ever, and honestly, probably just their best song. it's rare that a band's most popular song is also their best, because most of the time, bands have to water down their sound for some pop sensibility and create something wide-appealing, and yet, My Girls is just fantastic. one of the most essential songs of the century so far, for sure.
i'll be honest, i didnt expect to love Merriweather Post Pavilion as much as i do. like, i knew coming in it was good, but i expected Sung Tongs to remain my favorite Animal Collective album, and this to probably come in second, but even with high expectations, it blew them out of the fucking water. this thing is just, amazing front to back. barely a dull moment, every song here is pretty essential. just, please listen to this if you haven't. it's amazing. it's groundbreaking. it's Animal Collective.
FAVORITE - My Girls, In The Flowers, Lion In A Coma, Summertime Clothes, Daily Routine
LEAST FAVORITE - No More Runnin (still a great song tho)
thank you guys.