Animal Collective
Merriweather Post Pavilion


2.5
average

Review

by Adam Knott EMERITUS
October 14th, 2010 | 130 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: bath

I have tried.

Oh how I've tried. At first I didn't even realise I was trying; I bought the record, slipped it from its acid-tripped case, and sank into the ambience and organic sound effects with unerring ease. I deemed that feeling enjoyment for a while. Maybe it was hearing Feels that broke the illusion, Animal Collective's 2005 magnum opus being in every way an expansion upon, and better version of, the carefree atmosphere evoked from time to time throughout Merriweather Post Pavilion. What Animal Collective do better than almost everybody else in music at the moment is bring an aesthetic to the table which, though its means and ends are actually quite glaring, seems to harbour a subtlety in its smiling, impulsive nostalgia. It really is about the way it all feels.

So at first glance, Merriweather Post Pavilion is the same, because it's drenched in atmosphere and other water-related metaphors so heavily that you can easily be pulled under. But further scrutiny reveals what could not accurately be described as mere chinks in the armour, but overarching disappointments which run through every track bar one. That track, for the record, is 'Summertime Clothes', the clear standout whose bubbling electronics carry a passion and a momentum with them to propel the soaring refrain which actually sounds as joyous as we know Animal Collective can be.

And sure, the tribal drums on 'My Girls' evoke the image of a band that loves having fun, playing with their eyes closed from inside some sort of trance. Until you actually listen, at which point you realise how devilishly calculated it all is. Remember the beeeeeeeeeeeeees? Forget them. Structurally, melodically, and even in terms of real excitement, Merriweather is lacking, and the textures cannot compensate for the predictable nature of almost every song, the repetitive techniques used throughout. For the majority of its clearly-considered passages, Merriweather is like taking a really long bath in - granted - beautiful multi-coloured water. I fucking hate baths. I hate how they're so deliberately tranquil and, frankly, tedious. And Merriweather is the same.

The way in which it attempts to counter this dullness is its ultimate downfall, as it relies on the same cascades and jangles throughout to fill the gaps in a way that makes them more conspicuous by their absence, like in the potential-wasting 'My Girls' and, heaven, the madly repetitive and dull closer 'Brothersport', which is infuriating before even a minute has passed. Elsewhere, the tribal influence feels obnoxious everywhere except 'Lion In A Coma', and 'Daily Routine' is almost unlistenable thanks to its short, frequent spasms of purposely jarring electronics.

I hate baths. Seriously. And Merriweather Post Pavilion surrounds you in that same way, allowing you to sink into it. But as soon as your consciousness drifts above that of a coma patient, its flaws are all too obvious. Its structures are simplistic and its melodies are repetitive, its attempted rescue missions are at best ineffective and at worst completely grating, largely depending on how much attention you pay to the calculated and rigid way the record and its songs are constructed. There is clear potential on display, a reasonable range of ideas and no shortage of atmosphere, but it largely gets wasted inside a plethora of underwhelming moments, and the end result is a numb one; a pleasant one, perhaps, but simply nothing special.



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user ratings (2233)
Chart.
3.9
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Knott-
Emeritus
October 14th 2010


10198 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

BOOM neg

Knott-
Emeritus
October 14th 2010


10198 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Oh and this was SO hard to write because I have tried SO HARD to understand what people see in this record and the only thing worth a 4.5 on it is Summertime Clothes so yeah.

Skimaskcheck
October 14th 2010


2362 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

good job, i still haven't got into this either, agree on all the tracks that you mentioned are good though

liledman
October 14th 2010


3826 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

that first paragraph i kind of relate to - after i found feels i realised this wasnt that amazing. i still dig this album, mainly because of a few really good tracks though.

Ponton
Emeritus
October 14th 2010


5815 Comments


i hate feels, interesting

good review adam

puma35
October 14th 2010


972 Comments


really good review. I think the intro is a little to wordy, but it's extremely well written. I also have no idea what people see in this, I can't get into it at all.

mvood
October 14th 2010


818 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

awsome review man, posd.

And I feel the same way, exept I love baths.

DoubtGin
October 14th 2010


6752 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

good points but I love this

ti0n
October 14th 2010


1572 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Also Good points. Pos'd.
I think "Feels" is the best Animal Collective Album. But this is also a great effort.

Digging: The Twilight Sad - Nobody Wants To Be Here And Nobody Wants To Leave

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
October 14th 2010


28789 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

I was just a stupid kid back then
I take back every word that I said

SoapySoap
October 14th 2010


865 Comments


I fucking LOVE Daily Routine.

: (

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
October 14th 2010


3777 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Interesting.

SoapySoap
October 14th 2010


865 Comments


"Oh and this was SO hard to write because I have tried SO HARD to understand what people see in this record and the only thing worth a 4.5 on it is Summertime Clothes so yeah."

I thought you would have at least liked No More Runnin' since it kind of sounds like it could have been on Feels (maybe).

Kiran
Emeritus
October 14th 2010


6002 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I was just a stupid kid back then
I take back every word that I said

alk3!

i haven't taken a bath since i was a wee boy but i remember it being a wonderful experience

Digging: Harry Nilsson - Nilsson Schmilsson

HighandDriving
October 14th 2010


3288 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Urban Outfitters/5

americanmusicmachine
October 14th 2010


3953 Comments


I like a couple songs from this.

Gyromania
October 14th 2010


15973 Comments


I love to take a good bath from time to time. Greet review Adam, Pos'd.

WeepingBanana
October 14th 2010


10206 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i would jizz all over this album on a daily basis when it first came out

good review

Gyromania
October 14th 2010


15973 Comments


Yeah, same here; it's really lost its appeal, for me.

BigHans
October 14th 2010


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

album sucks good review



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