Animal Collective
Centipede Hz


3.0
good

Review

by Alex Beebe USER (126 Reviews)
September 6th, 2012 | 706 replies | 18,978 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: As always, Animal Collective provides a record bursting at the seams with a vast and colorful array of textures and noises, even though its cluttered and messy disjointedness admittedly makes it a tad bit disappointing.

10 of 10 thought this review was well written

Expectations seem to be set the highest after an artist reaches the peak of their career. Debut albums that garner acclaim may give audiences high hopes for the success of a band in the future, but when an artist continues to deliver quality material album after album, and as they rise up over time and gain a reputation of consistently putting out quality material until the build up results in an ultimatum of the artists abilities, fans will depend on the artist to deliver upon the bar of standard they feel the artist has set.

Animal Collective arguably reached their peak in 2009 with their eighth, and universally considered best studio album to date, Merriweather Post Pavilion. Being their most successful album, it’s understandable that audiences may expect the band’s follow-up album Centipede Hz to follow in the footsteps of the same formula of success of Merriweather. After spending their career exploring different approaches to their sound and finally hitting the nail on the head with Merriweather, it would only make sense. However, being the heavily ambitious and experimental outfit that they are, it’s not in Animal Collective’s style to go about an album in the same method as before, even if that method happened to be the one they have had the most success with.

The album accumulates the bubbling synths that glisten with sparkling production, and the winding psychedelic flows that have both become defining factors in Animal Collective’s sound, but this typical oddball style and these obscure rhythms aren’t anything in the way of extraordinary or progressional for Animal Collective’s experimental sound post-Merriweather. Fans of Merriweather may hope that Centipede Hz contains more of the same, but for an always forward-thinking band like Animal Collective, this turns the musical ideas of Centipede Hz into conventions of Animal Collective’s own renowned ideas.

The approach on Centipede Hz seems to favor the sheer amount of layers upon layers of sounds over any sort of neat organization of them. Merriweather displayed the group’s poppiest spin on the staples in Animal Colective’s sound by concentrating on sharp and well-groomed production, so it seems that to differentiate with Centipede Hz, the group aimed to put more emphasis on these noises and textures by simply packing each individual song full with even more complex amounts of elements than before. This notable increase in complexity and volume results in a more rock oriented impression than pop, but also unfortunately results in a very scatter-brained album.

Songs are stunningly complex with different elements, yes, but the music isn’t sprawling and spaced out as wide as Merriweather was for listeners to be able to identify and appreciate all of the music’s varying attributes. Songs give a first impression as being very messy, with all the many layers being piled on top of each other, resulting in a very dense atmosphere that feels constricted and suppressed from achieving the heights it strains to reach. Each song starts off as a blast of contrasting patterns that is all over the place the entire way through, and collapses into a garbled mess of noise after a short while. This comes at the price of the quality of the music being affected when the stacking of layers ends up muffling some intriguing aspects of the songs, such as the percussion, that find themselves buried to a sometimes indistinguishable extent.

There is always a method to the madness with Animal Collective, but Centipede Hz just comes off as only madness far too often, with the method being so lost among a rush of convoluted tracks with unbalanced aspects that it detracts from the listening experience, and makes it difficult for listeners to appreciate everything that is going on in the music. This makes for a mediocre, but above all, disappointing record by Animal Collective’s standards.



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user ratings (482)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
breakingthefragile
September 6th 2012



2935 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Before anyone points it out, yes, I know there's a lot of things about Animal
Collective's sound that I didn't mention, like getting more into the folk and indie side
rather than just the electronica side, and yeah, I'm sorry that the only album I
constantly mention specifically in Merriweather Post Pavilion, but I didn't want to
make this review really long. I hope I did good. Surprised this album isn't as popular
on the site as it was when it leaked.

Piglet
September 6th 2012



4644 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah, this is a pretty fair verdict tbh
rather be listening to feels or strawberry jam any day

YankeeDudel
September 6th 2012



9290 Comments


So this is like electronic wankery?

Digging: Shape of Broad Minds - Craft of the Lost Art

Fluttertrank
September 6th 2012



16857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i agree with this review.

well yeah good review man

Digging: Xanthochroid - Blessed He With Boils

wacknizzle
September 6th 2012



11882 Comments


I wasn't that into what I heard so far but I'll jam this tomorrow since it's on spotify now. Feels is still their best.

Digging: Fall of Efrafa - Inle

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
September 6th 2012



48520 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

sweet

Digging: More Than Life - What's Left Of Me

Rev
September 6th 2012



9291 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

good shit man

breakingthefragile
September 6th 2012



2935 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks Flutter. And Reverend, I am just not feeling this record at all man, sorry.

klap
Staff Reviewer
September 6th 2012



9982 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

digging the backlash on this

Spare
September 6th 2012



5223 Comments


was psyched for this because i dug today's supernatural and that 7" they put out but tbh kinda half expected this to be the case. haven't listened yet doe

Fluttertrank
September 6th 2012



16857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah im not feeling this at all either

Rev
September 6th 2012



9291 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

And Reverend, I am just not feeling this record at all man, sorry.

bro I was complimenting your review lol


This is really just a high 3.5/solid 4 for me, but doesn't come close to Feels, SJ, or MPP for me. Here's hoping it continues to grow on me. It took me over two years to fall in love with MPP


Fluttertrank
September 6th 2012



16857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

why do you have it 5'd?

breakingthefragile
September 6th 2012



2935 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Ah, okay then dude. Thanks for the compliment then man! I just saw your 5 rating and assumed you meant the album haha, my bad.

Rev
September 6th 2012



9291 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

why do you have it 5'd?

I don't take my ratings very seriously, I listened to the radio stream with a group of people and it made me really excited about the record, and I wanted to balance out the troll ratings



Fluttertrank
September 6th 2012



16857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

oh ok, well i was just wondering. wasnt attacking ya for it or w/e

Rev
September 6th 2012



9291 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

no worries, a 5 for a brand new album is pretty ridiculous

Sleaper
September 6th 2012



3131 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

nice review man... very understandable.
but a 3 is so freaking low...
Album should really be 4.

im just a Anco lover so ima 5 it anyway

Digging: SpaceGhostPurrp - B.M.W. 2: Intoxxxicated

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
September 6th 2012



4334 Comments


I've listened to this album twice in full, and I still dont know what to think of it. Usually I fall in love with Animal Collective, but I wasnt too impressed with this one. A 3 sounds about right though. Good review, Alex. POS'd.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
September 6th 2012



30282 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Someone call up Downer and tell him we don't like things anymore

Digging: L'Orange - The Orchid Days



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