Animal Collective
Centipede Hz


4.0
excellent

Review

by derho USER (31 Reviews)
December 12th, 2012 | 25 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist


What can an artist do when the world declares they’ve made their "Guernica"? To accept passively is a popular (not to mention totally legitimate) option. A masterpiece doesn’t need its artist by its side to shift and evolve with the changing times. It can and will speak for itself. Alternatively, the creator can do as Animal Collective have done with "Centipede Hz" and produce one of the most exciting, manic, and original records of their career.

"Hz" seeps out of your stereo system like a signal caught and channelled through one of the gigantic satellite dishes perpetually spinning at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute. It’s a tour of the wide breadth of intergalactic frequencies, surfing from song to song through a crackling stew of twisted amusement park fanfare and helium-laced martian talk show freakouts. The distant, fade-in-fade-out production reinforces this overall alien-radio aesthetic, but is unfortunately a little bit hit or miss. Each distinct nugget of each song is given an exact elevation in the mix. At best, this makes the music seem physical and defined, but addictive melodies sometimes feel just out of reach.

It’s clear from the first pixelated drum splat that this isn’t going to be "Merriweather Post Pavilion 2", but that doesn’t mean the Collective are success-averse. All sputtering-fuzz aside, this is pure pop. The band is more open with us than ever before. “Wide Eyed”, a sincere tune driven by a strikingly fragile vocal performance, is one of their prettiest yet. Even tracks that at first seem to ask too much end up reluctantly revealing hooks in a way that feels almost...human. Give the gravel shaking “New Town Burnout” a few minutes and you might find the guys asking for a little bit of sympathy. That’s totally new.

This is a heavy product, about an hour in length, and I don’t even want to tell you what they’ll charge you at a record store. That being said, the band hardly wastes your time. Excess song-length is spent juxtaposing the soft and the hard, or establishing mood. Particularly with the latter, they’re incredible successful. They’ve tied together cohesive pieces before, but this seems more natural, bound through careful sonic chemistry, whether by accident or design, to leave us with a whole that flows effortlessly.

What makes this album essential is its ability to dazzle, frighten, and comfort all at once. Some might have you believe it’s reactionary. Not so. Instead, it’s continuously revolutionary, pushing limits in the way of "Strawberry Jam" and earlier work without sacrificing the pop aesthetic of their as-of-now “magnum opus”. I feel confident in saying the best is yet to come.

8/10



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user ratings (528)
Chart.
3.3
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
demigod!
December 12th 2012


45005 Comments


still havent heard this

Digging: Autechre - LP5

derho
December 12th 2012


307 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
December 12th 2012


10359 Comments


Cool review, man. Your review is strongest in the middle and end - the intro suffers from some awkward phrasing and vague pronouns, etc.

"To accept passively is a popular (not to mention totally legitimate) option. Acknowledge that everybody gets one and shrink back into the obscurity of mundane life. The work will speak for itself."

This part is oddly phrased as a whole, and has an awkward pace to it. Consider rephrasing it, or just rewriting it altogether.

And "(not to mention a few other no-names such as: The Beatles and Nirvana)" isn't really necessary. Your first paragraph is really good from there, though.

Keep up the good work. Opening reviews is hard, because it's a balance between immediately gripping and insightful information. Yours has both, but here the hurdle is just conveying it in a logical manner.

ThroneOfAgony
December 12th 2012


3485 Comments


This album was a bit corny at times but still pretty fun

derho
December 12th 2012


307 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I kind of stared at that part of the first paragraph for a while and got a headache. I think I can figure something out. Thanks for the feedback. Opening reviews is awful for me hahah.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
December 12th 2012


10359 Comments


Yeah, it's hard. I try to think of a brief way to say my opinion on the album to lure people in, but it can be very elusive something.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
December 12th 2012


10359 Comments


Also, I find it hilarious that P4K put this album cover on their worst album art of 2012 list.

demigod!
December 12th 2012


45005 Comments


art sucks imo

derho
December 12th 2012


307 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It fits the album well

ThroneOfAgony
December 12th 2012


3485 Comments


I think it's actually good, just like the music

derho
December 12th 2012


307 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

made some minor edits to the first paragraph that hopefully make it a little less jerky

Rev
December 12th 2012


9439 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The art isn't as bad as the original one

Anthracks
December 12th 2012


3774 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

best anco

Digging: Ariel Pink - Pom Pom

derho
December 12th 2012


307 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

If they evened out the production out a little bit it, it really could have been

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
December 12th 2012


10359 Comments


True, Dylan.

And first paragraph is much better. I had to look up what Guernica was, which is sad on my behalf, but ah well.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
December 12th 2012


15743 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

wow this dropped to a 3.4

Rev
December 12th 2012


9439 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good

Wish it would drop down to a 3

derho
December 12th 2012


307 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hahah I had to think of the most easily recognizable artistic masterwork and I didn't want to say mona lisa. I don't really understand the majority of criticism for this album. It doesn't even seem that abrasive, especially put shoulder to shoulder with their other material. People just wanted more digital beach boys

Ethics
December 12th 2012


4112 Comments


lmfao @ best animal collective album ahahaahahahaa

Calc
December 12th 2012


12299 Comments


a review a day keeps the doctor away

Digging: Mr. Oizo - The Church



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