Animal Collective return in 2005 with their brand of wacky, tripped out psychedelic folk. Creating a more accessible (but still wacky) sound, Feels
is one of the catchiest and all around fun records of the year.
Animal Collective certainly have been busy. Releasing their last album, Sung Tongs
in early 2004, Animal Collective have since released another EP as well as their latest album, Feels
. Although Sung Tongs
often felt like it could have used a bit more work, Feels
is probably the best record that Animal Collective have made yet. Including plenty of the freaky folk jamming that dominated Sung Tongs
also includes some very catchy indie rock tunes like 'Grass' and 'Did You See The Words'. 'Grass' is the first single from the record and probably one of the funnest and happiest songs of the year. It seems that in this very short time, Animal Collective have matured, developed and changed their sound to the point of creating a band who are more accessible and easier to enjoy. However, the listeners who put the effort into longer tracks such as 'Banshee Beat' will be generously rewarded.
can essentially be divided into two parts. The first half consists of upbeat indie pop tunes, such as the aforementioned 'Grass'. The second half of the record features more of the tripped out and ambient jams that were very much present on Sung Tongs
. The catchy pop songs still feature the wierdness that Animal Collective have become known for, but are augmented by pounding drums and freak out blasts of noise. The albums last track is an extremely well executed mix of both styles. Feels
features the piano talents of Kristin Valtýsdóttir (of the Icelandic band Múm) and her influence is certainly felt, particularly on beautiful tracks later in the album, such as 'Loch Raven'. Feels
, in general, is a mix of loud indie-pop, wierd and soft acoustic folk jams and drawn out, beautiful ambient passages. The delayed guitars in particular add a trippy quality to the music, while the vocals are equal parts crazy, silly and mesmerising. Listeners will find themselves hypnotised by the vocals on tracks in the second half of the album. The album's production is thick and listeners will find that new sounds keep popping up with subsequent listens. Most songs have a definite 'running water' quality to them. With Feels
, Animal Collective have not only made what is arguably their best record, they have made what could arguably the best record of the year.
Fun, catchy, silly and unique
Arguably the best sound Animal Collective have produced
Complex; new sounds keep on popping up
Some listeners may not enjoy the new direction
Some fans of the poppier tracks may not enjoy the longer songs
Did You See The Words
FINAL RATING: 4/5