Review Summary: Fall Be Kind is Animal Collective impressing both fans and skeptics.
Opening with “Graze”, Fall Be Kind
shows Animal Collective toying with animated strings, Beach Boys-influence, and a serene glance at folk. With a Disney sort of magical charisma, Fall Be Kind
then segues into “What Would I Want? Sky”, which also provides an austere mash of folk and pop, but combines it with a complex electronic arrangement and a dual-vocal harmony. The second, and probably the most notorious song on Fall Be Kind
encapsulates all that the album is: an expressive and melodic EP which brings Animal Collective down to earth. "Sky" shows Animal Collective mastering the art of simplicity in many areas, despite the many complex time signatures. What’s more is that despite the choppy sample from Grateful Dead’s “Unbroken Chain”, “Sky” is an example of Animal Collective’s strength as songwriters and naturally melodic sound.
Here is where one of Fall Be Kind
's strengths is found. Each song seems to be just a continuation of the same, twenty-seven minute long arrangement. Each of the tracks on this EP is melodic and genuinely experimental, but never overbearing or out-of-place. Animal Collective also have become more intimate with Fall Be Kind
. “Bleed” marks the more ethereal latter-half of the EP with a melancholy flavor. However, Animal Collective are at their most personal with "On A Highway", referencing other band members and crafting one of indie's most somber tunes. Again, Animal Collective refuse to look behind their shoulders as they throw out all the conventions of "cool." While bands like Yeasayer are reviving the chipper tunes of the eighties, Animal Collective are showing all sorts of emotions.
Transforming from a lighthearted masterwork to a morose closing, Fall Be Kind
is the kind of album that exudes evocation. Unlike "On A Highway", “Graze” is a joyous song evoking castles in England and mediaeval garb with a world-conscious pop anthem. But the most innovative and hard-to-figure-out track here is "I Think I Can". Epic and profound, the track seems somewhat meandrous at first. The long introduction is somewhat muddled, and as the song opens up, it decrescendos, asking for future listens. In this way, Animal Collective have finally fulfilled their potential as one of indie's experiments. Depsite its short length and slightly dorky nature, [i[Fall Be Kind[/i] is an excellent take on all things innovative and emotional. Fall Be Kind
is all over the place, eclectic in a way that never undermines Animal Collective's pop sensibilities. Whether it be the long electronic intro on "What Would I Want? Sky", or the Alice-In-Wonderland-like "Graze", Animal Collective's latest EP is an ambitious and great effort that begs for more listens (if just to understand it).
*A quote taken from AtavanHalen.