Animal Collective
Strawberry Jam


4.5
superb

Review

by Dylan S. USER (68 Reviews)
November 15th, 2009 | 590 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A work of art by a band with big visions, and even bigger creations.

Animal Collective is a hard band to describe. No matter if anyone likes or dislikes the band they cannot deny how unique they are. Their genera can range from indie to psychedelic to experimental all in one album. While the band did not invent this crazy mixture of musical elements, they are clearly a standout from many of the rest. Since their formation in the beginning of the new millennium to the present day, the band has been popping out kooky records like the Octo-mom. The bands seventh studio album Strawberry Jam is no exception to the bands formula of crazy poppy yet ambient tunes.

Peacebone, the opening track, begins with a wild electronic mix with a steady bass slowly building into rhythm leading to the drums, then guitar, then vocals that immediately set the album of fantastically. The electronic rhythm continues the rest of the song keeping it fun and upbeat. The vocals during the verses are mid-tempo and calm, but then get loud and howling . The bridge consists of vicious roaring vocals that sound like a demonic possession, but that demonic possession works, and it works great.

Continuing the upbeat feeling is the song Chores. It begins with yodel-like singing when the beats suddenly jumping in. The song has many lyrics to it, but they primarily take a backseat to the beat the song has that jumps from being quiet and slow to loud and fast really quickly making it very attention getting and stands out strongly on Strawberry Jam.

Bringing on the more ambient feeling is Cuckoo Cuckoo. It begins with a very distant and alone feeling, with slow piano and vocals that sound like a whispering wind that are nearly impossible to understand what is being said. Then it transitions into just piano and more clear vocals. The song unexpectedly rips into a thundering guitar and the vocals getting louder, faster and more upbeat like those in Peacebone. The song goes into a ravage clash of various instruments, then jumps back into the guitar, then back to piano, then once more back to the ambient sounds that opened it. Obviously the most interesting song on the album Cuckoo Cuckoo begins, builds, and ends like magic.

While nothing can top what Cuckoo Cuckoo brought, songs like Fireworks and Winter Wonder Land get pretty damn close. The latter opens with mumbled lines that jump quickly to upbeat and fast music that make you feel as if you are really in a Winter Wonder Land. The vocals are so quick they are nearly slurred, with rhythmic “ooooo’s” that fill in the spaces where lyrics a not. Continuing the overall fun the album brings.

After forty minutes of pure enjoyment, the album ends at what seems too soon. Closing with Derek a song that is almost nothing but drums ends the album in a more mid-tempo way than Strawberry Jam started. While not an overbearingly phenomenal track Derek puts the period at the end of the sentence that is Strawberry Jam. Except sentence may not be the right word though, maybe novel is more fitting, as the album is so strong it feels like a whole adventure that will tackle you at full force every time you listen.



Recent reviews by this author
Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings Dap Dippin'Blondie Panic of Girls
Bjork TelegramCher Closer To The Truth
Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros HereChromatics Night Drive
user ratings (1225)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
For Meatplow (4.5)
I believe in happiness, do you?...

Alex Robertson STAFF (4)
Strawberry Jam, being one of Animal Collective's most varied release, is also one of their most acce...

Paul blart (4)
After all the dicking-around with "freak folk" and before the bloated "Merriweather Post Pavillion",...

The Katz brothers (4)
Animal Collective are really good. Even John Norris knows what's up....


Comments:Add a Comment 
dylantheairplane
November 15th 2009


2170 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

My new addiction.

Give this some love.

Roach
November 15th 2009


2148 Comments


'Fireworks' is so awesome.

Prophet178
November 15th 2009


6397 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The octo mom metaphor doesn't make much sense lol.

dylantheairplane
November 15th 2009


2170 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I know it doesnt...but its staying just for the hell of being there

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
November 15th 2009


15743 Comments

Album Rating: 4.6

review is pretty blegh

Digging: Flying Lotus - You're Dead!

dylantheairplane
November 15th 2009


2170 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

blegh

Niceinvader
November 15th 2009


773 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fireworks is their best song imo

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
November 15th 2009


15050 Comments


tbh this always seemed like one of their least inspired efforts

AWESOME shit (#1, peacebone) mixed with kind crappy stuff (chores, unsolved mysteries)

it's still a 4 but kinda a weak one

shade
November 15th 2009


1198 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

peacebone is their best, imo

chores rules too

Fapper
November 15th 2009


649 Comments


I don't know this doesn't have anything on Merriweather to me.

shade
November 15th 2009


1198 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this owns merriweather

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
November 15th 2009


15050 Comments


def not as good as mpp imo

Prophet178
November 15th 2009


6397 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

tbh this always seemed like one of their least inspired efforts

AWESOME shit (#1, peacebone) mixed with kind crappy stuff (chores, unsolved mysteries)


I feel the same way, but about Feels.

ECRbubs
November 15th 2009


687 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

album of the decade peeps

dylantheairplane
November 15th 2009


2170 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

as of right now this and Feels are on the same level with me.

That may change

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
November 15th 2009


15050 Comments


feels and mpp are their best imo

this is greatly varied but it almost seems like a warm up to mpp, a kind of career footnote

feels has an awesome sound of its own and actually does have some crappy songs (two to be precise, bees and flesh canoe) but the rest is some of the best work of their career

dylantheairplane
November 15th 2009


2170 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

the song Bees makes me laugh so hard, when he does the deep voice sound effect thing

Prophet178
November 15th 2009


6397 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sung Tongs is probably my favorite.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
November 15th 2009


3771 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is on the lower scale of AC albums for muh, but it still pretty bangin.

Digging: Grouper - Ruins

Athom
Staff Reviewer
November 15th 2009


17222 Comments


love it



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy