Review Summary: All it takes is one album to flip the world upside down.
If there’s an album that I could personally point to as a sort of musical epiphany it would have to be Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavilion
. Two years ago I stood in a Best Buy, holding the green and purple colored album in my hands, wondering if it was worth a gander based off of all the Internet hype. I relented to the craze and purchased the album.
Fast forward a few weeks and this album had basically floated its way into the no-man’s land section of my Itunes. I saw this Animal Collective outing as something bizarre. It was such a left field shot from anything I had ever heard that I abandoned it completely. Sure the melodies of songs like “My Girls” and “Daily Routine” were nice, but it didn’t offset the mess of noise that the album seemed to me at the time.
Skip ahead to the present and I’m astounded by the change. Whether it was time or something else, this album that I felt was massively overhyped has now become a cornerstone of my musical journey. I discern the beauty of “My Girls”, the romp of “Summertime Clothes”, and the freak-fest bounce of “Brothersport”. From the subtle buildup of “In the Flowers”, the swampy textures of “Also Frightened”, to the simplicity of “Taste”, Animal Collective has created very nearly the most perfect “Pop” album I have heard this side of Person Pitch.
This album really pushed the boundaries of what I considered music. Within it’s loops, sputters, and noise I found something I’d been searching for my entire listening life: music expression at it’s finest. Music that can make you feel. Here was an album I could truly relate to. If there is only one album I could put on a pedestal for how it has developed my view of music, it would be Merriweather Post Pavilion
Personally this album is an emotional roller coaster at it’s finest. The melancholy sadness of “In the Flowers” is met with the joy of life that “My Girls” gives. The comfort and protection of “Also Frightened” is tempered by the adventure of “Summertime Clothes. “Lion in a Coma” presents a freeing romp, while “No More Running mellows out the adrenaline build up. “Taste” relates to the simple things, and “Bluish” reinvents some of the darkness of the Flowers. Animal Collective feeds us these elements and we make of them what we can. It’s a very individual feeling album, vague lyrics and meanings allowing the listener to build their own proper house of thoughts.
came to me at the perfect time. It is a record of new beginnings, insecurity, apprehension, and excitement, and this echoes my life in a nutshell since the minute I picked it up. From “My Girls” roaming synth line and rousing chorus about taking care of those you love, “Also Frightened”s tribal beats and apprehension about the big world surrounding, “Summertime Clothes”’ bounce and adventure, to the encouraging message of “Brothersport”, Animal Collective’s latest sounds have echoed my own.
Although this album has and may bring me to many other artists and paths (as well Animal Collective’s other works), it was always stick around as something that has inspired, developed, and encouraged me. It tells me it is okay to be a little scared, okay to have fun, okay to be different. Merriweather Post Pavilion
is one of a kind, and I am grateful it kept at me through all my doubt.