Animal Collective
Merriweather Post Pavilion


5.0
classic

Review

by robin EMERITUS
December 18th, 2010 | 82 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: feeling is, so we're told, still quite good.

I wore my copy of Merriweather Post Pavillion to tethers, just as I do any album I fall madly, wildly in love with. This is because I am an idiot. I like music because I am obsessed with it, and I will never, ever learn from my mistakes, never be able to take time off from an album in the way I so should have done with this one. Merriweather Post Pavillion made me compulsive, drawn obsessively into the album’s littlest titbits a hundred times over, trying to get in as deep as I possibly could. Should I have? Probably not. As is ever the case, I went too deep, and I ruined the album more than I ever could by turning it to tethers. And it’s taken me a year to dust it off and to see what I saw in Avey and Panda in the first place. But actually, Merriweather Post Pavillion says it’s okay to obsess; it encourages it. In the end, I didn’t get sick of “Brother Sport” because I played it a hundred times, I got sick of it because it wasn’t carrying me through the moment it used to. I grew attached to these songs in February, and by the time June came it was like I had never heard them. That, my friends, is a wonderful thing.

Merriweather Post Pavillion was the album that taught me that music is a cyclical thing, an experience whatever its intention, be it to bring down the government or, as Animal Collective would rather advocate, to open the front door. It taught me that music has a time and a place, be it your favourite season or your best friend. I didn’t know it at the time, but Merriweather Post Pavillion was a lesson in cycles, one that I would only finally learn when I turned on “Bluish” last week, as if for the first time ever. It felt like a fresh experience, but it was the one I’d had two Februarys ago, using Animal Collective’s songs like hot water bottles to fend off snowy weather. This is an annual thing: snow falls every year, and Merriweather Post Pavillion will be there every year too, new when it needs to be.

And on Merriweather Post Pavillion Animal Collective is just like that: they’re cyclical guys, impulsive guys, happy guys, experiencing the fleeting ridiculousness of their actions as if for the first time. Their assertions are desires and their most insightful advice is, uh, “Oooo!” They hinted at such cycles on Feels when they first asserted the simple fact that feeling is good. They even told us that feeling was all the better for being a timeless thing: “there’ll be time to get dry after the swimming pool” was such a wonderfully simple thing to say, but it sums up how Animal Collective is a band of moment, writing songs about what they did that day (“Summertime Clothes”) and what they want to do next (“Guys Eyes”). Their music holds onto these instants with a romantic heart, wanting every moment back, new and old: “Daily Routine” reflects everyman’s every day through Panda Bear’s slow-as-*** drones and continuous repetition of “just a sec more,” and the frantic “Lion In a Coma” achieves the same sense of longing by doing the exact opposite. It feels over as soon as it has begun, with Avey Tare spitting out his lyrics like a real simple soul: “sometimes the sun will shine, yes I am just doin fine / sometimes i'm well-to-do but I don't know what to do.” Whether these moments are spaced-out or fast as lightning, though, Merriweather Post Pavillion manifests them in the physical, and as they are felt.

So when I look back on this two years on, I re-live these songs as I first did. I remember “No More Runnin,” with its hypnotically slow electronics, in complete isolation. I remember walking in bitterly cold weather to “Also Frightened” and not caring one bit that it went on and on and on, because my walk seemed to do the same. And I remember listening to the most fittingly universal track, “Brother Sport,” with friends, and later in its untamed live state. And this, I think, is what I remember Merriweather Post Pavillion being so great at. Animal Collective have become a visual band, a band that have colourful paint and photo collages splashed over their music videos, a band who created a psychadelic movie called Oddsac and wrote music to fit. They’re a band attuned to a live setting, and they love setting enough to name their record after an outdoor music venue. Animal Collective have become a band set to experience, with albums that can invoke nostalgia just two years on from their release, that can sound new without your say-so. And in the end, even an idiot like me feels that.



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user ratings (2202)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Manic_
December 18th 2010


447 Comments


just a sec more in muh beddd.

AggravatedYeti
December 18th 2010


7685 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

honestly did not see this coming.

foreverendeared
December 18th 2010


14678 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

NOOOOO what have you done, Robin? :P

JustJoe
December 18th 2010


1399 Comments


So, this is... good?

Digging: The Avalanches - Since I Left You

Ponton
Emeritus
December 18th 2010


5793 Comments


and Merriweather Post Pavillion will be there every year too, new when it needs to be


hey robin

DoubtGin
December 18th 2010


6752 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

YES YES YES

plane
Staff Reviewer
December 18th 2010


6094 Comments


Their assertions are desires and their most insightful advice is, uh, “Oooo!” They hinted at such cycles on Feels when they first asserted the simple fact that feeling is good.

Top 5 statements on Animal Collecitve. Really, this is what AC boils down to for me. I have a friend I met this semester who is practically a copy+paste of my music and movie tastes, but not when it comes to Animal Collective. I'm willing to blame his friends who put it in his mind that AC is for hipster fags always n' forever, and he just won't let it click (too "hollow," he says). I keep trying to find new ways of saying "Dude, they're just fucking around, that's it. All the praise and stabs at social commentary are me. I, we, collective Animal fans, we're doing that."

And you sir, you nailed it. Luv ya Robin, good stuff.

Gyromania
December 18th 2010


15701 Comments


Great review. I relate so much to you in that I ruin so many albums by overplaying them.

robin
Emeritus
December 18th 2010


4248 Comments


thank you guys =). it was snowing.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
December 18th 2010


15737 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

albums so nice in the snow

Digging: Ricky Eat Acid - Three Love Songs

klap
Staff Reviewer
December 18th 2010


10413 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

what is snow.....ill roll around with this review any day

Digging: Literature - Chorus

AggravatedYeti
December 18th 2010


7685 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

damn it rudy we've been over this.

no more 4 lokos for you.

robin
Emeritus
December 18th 2010


4248 Comments


oh rudy.

Slum
December 18th 2010


2579 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

That first paragraph is so fucking true. Fantastic review dude

psykonaut
December 18th 2010


3913 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this review/album makes me happy

conradtao
Emeritus
December 18th 2010


2090 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Robin, you may just be my favorite reviewer on the site. Loved reading this.

I think that people that dismiss Animal Collective as being "silly" miss the point of the music, just as the people who insist that Animal Collective is "super deep" (that said, if that opinion is ever used to characterize anything that opinion is IMO invalid) miss the point as well. There's something really happy about Feels and Strawberry Jam and MPP, and I don't think there's anything wrong with pure, dare I say, unadulterated happiness.

WeepingBanana
December 18th 2010


10139 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

when this album first came out i felt like nothing existed before this album and nothing will exist after this album

now it's eh but i still have random love fits with it

great review

robin
Emeritus
December 18th 2010


4248 Comments


conrad- that's my argument for the polyphonic spree, haha, but it doesn't fly. still, i agree how much joy i get from those 3 albums. but there's some seriousness in each.

couldwinarabbit
December 18th 2010


6996 Comments


album sucks asshole so much. By far the worst thing this band has done and one of the most overrated albums ever. That being said good review.

conradtao
Emeritus
December 18th 2010


2090 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, I know there's a degree of "seriousness" to each, but to my ears it just gets overridden by the yelps and whoohoo atmosphere. Case in point: "Brothersport". I know it's actually a song written by Panda Bear in support of Noah's brother but it's ostensibly just a fucking crazy joyous freakout, and for once I prefer appreciating the song on a simpler level...if that makes any sense!



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