Review Summary: .elpoep sdrawkcab morf cisum sdrawkcaB
So far, the various members and incarnations of Animal Collective have been a driving force behind independent music of this decade, with fairly popular and acclaimed releases such as Sung Tongs
and their most recent, Feels
. Combining campfire folk with oddball experimentalism and a knack for melody, members such as Avey Tare and Panda Bear have made a cozy nest for themselves in the scene, and will likely remain there for quite some time.
Then comes 2007, a year which has brought us a solo album and a collabarative effort from these two gentle young men. Bear has given us Person Pitch
, an album filled to the brim with influences, ranging from Brian Wilson to various electronic artists, creating a vast cornucopia of sounds that seem to clash in a strangely harmonious way. Tare and his wife, Kria Brekkan (of Mum fame) give us Pullhair Rubeye
, an excursion into the uncharted world of reversed music.
It sounds like, at the least, an interesting concept: record an album of acoustic guitar, piano and voice and flip it over. Not a single note of music here is left untouched, making for an thirty minute collection of alien midwest songs. "Opis Helpus" best represents the droning ambiance that one would assume Avey and Kria were trying to create, as instruments swirl and voices mingle and fade back and forth. Brekkan's vocals here sounding like chirping birds from a mushroom trip (as they do on much of the album), furthering the Zen-like feel of the album. With "Who Wellses in My Hoff" and "Lay Lay Off, Faselam", a somewhat more melancholy and depressive tempo is introduced, both feeling as if they are dragging a dead cherub on the back of a covered wagon.
Despite how interesting the music may be on Pullhair Rubeye
, there are points where the backwards masking becomes arduous. Such is the case with songs such as "Palneka" and "Sasong". While the former is an instrumental which seems to repeat the same figure ad nauseam
, the latter is a showcase of Kria's strange, chipmunk vocals that are actually rather humorous. Imagine if Alvin swam in a canal full of talking turtles with fluorescent shells and top hats.
Upon reversing Pullhair Rubeye
, one will discover that it is not so strange after all. Peculiar vocals and extraterrestrial sounds become rather standard Animal Collective fair; strummed, airy acoustic chords and emotive and sometimes out of key singing, piano, and the addition of Brekkan's vocals to compliment it all. This brings about the unanswered question as to what possessed these individuals to dramatically change a collection of songs. Was it out of pretense, or merely a random (perhaps misinformed) thought that was the cause of this? Whatever you decide to blame or thank for Pullhair Rubeye
, what we know for sure is that people are going to do whatever they want. As along as they do this, I will listen.