Review Summary: This album, with the exception of Daffy Duck, is about being in love with a girl who doesn't want to be with you. It's about the confusion, hurt, false hope, and misunderstandings that come from it. It's about being unable to get over someone.
Animal Collective's music reminds me of dreams. They remind me of the dreams you have that are so powerful but they make little sense. They run from event to event and while you enjoy it all, you also don't know what it all means. There is some glue that holds it all together but you're not sure what it is. Feels is an album about love. It is all very loose and hard to connect and hard to decipher. It plays like one long dream about love and, when each song is broken down, it gives the listener a view of what Avey's love life is like. The album is about Avey and a past relationship of his. He is still in love with someone and is having trouble with it.
Did You See the Words is about cheating. A girl who contacts the narrator by letter and cheats on her "newest kisser" with the narrator. The "newest kisser is peeking" means her current boyfriend is catching onto them. Avey thinks there is love there: "there's something living in these lines." She goes to his house and is unsure whether to have sex with him or to go home:
"You dress yourself up tonight get all tangled up in arms and legs its comfortable and someone grabs a hold do you go ohhhhhh. Should you go home. Theres something starting dont know why.
And in a house so cozy few words are spoken lets take our shoes off and unwind when theres minuets off in the background drowning out eyes off ears off test the kiss goodnight.
Dont keep my loving on my mind."
Grass is about abuse in a past relationship. "My hands were happy to treat you like a brother." "Who rubs our noses in the night? We do, we do." (From crying.) He reminisces about the good times and explains how his ex is happy he moved on and how he wants her back in the bridge:
"Whats with all the changes since the time i was aware its like the apple eating people that we once were arent there. Did they empty out their pockets and debase their younger faces and you must make sure your happy when you leave your summer places. pretty little femur sitting in my cherry dream boat I'd be sad if your rejected from my hip bone and my knee if i sailed away from continents and touched my lovers hair then youd be very happy if i touched her there. You'd be very happy if i touched her there, i was very nervous how i felt in there i was very cautious whatd you say hey there would you like to see me often though you dont need to see me often cause I'd like to see you often though i dont need to see you often"
Flesh Canoe is about insecurity in a relationship. He talks about how he's unsure whether or not to let his friends have an impact on his relationship: "i cant keep from changing my brains bending my wants with my rights are my friends still half right and should i keep them separate from me its unclear."
He talks about how he wonders if she has things in common with him: "know your next you make me feel alright are you just like me never gonna pick one kind of fruit like a mushed banana on your tooth and you like the sting of the cherry juice never eat an apple that's just one color."
He talks about how they are sexual but then don't see each other for days:
"just bump into you i haven't seen you in a week or three days though it really bugs me its nice to find new ways to smile i keep thinking that when you feel sad you cant pout cause what this songs about is me singing I'm just wondering what to do with you myself and me naked in the mirror of the bathroom."
Flesh Canoe is about a relationship that is all about sex, and how Avey is wanting it to be more than that.
The Purple Bottle is the culmination of his feelings. It's where all of the obsession that is caused by love really shines through. Here he picks apart everything he loves about her and questions their love:
"Well i'd like to spread your perfume around the old apartment
Could we live together and agree on the same wares?
A trapeze is a bird cage even if its empty and definitely fits the room
And we would too."
He wonders if it has a future. He talks about how he takes pills to feel better about it but sometimes even that isn't enough and he still feels ill.
Bees is about love. The birds and the bees. It's about how it can be scary, violent, and sudden. It's about trying to take your time with love so you don't smother someone.
Banshee Beat is where Avey really opens up about the relationship. It's about him trying to be with a girl who's with someone else. He hears updates from the girl's brother about how the girl and her new boyfriend talk about him. He tries for her but she remains with him even though he treats her badly.
By this time you get the idea that's he's in love with someone who doesn't love him back or maybe just doesn't know what she wants. He wonders what he should do about it and obsesses over it.
Daffy Duck is terribly hard to figure out and seems to come out of nowhere in the context of the album. It seems to be about an older brother who takes care of his little sister. He needs advice on what to do with her. She is growing up and is getting to the age where she is rebellious and he wants to be close to her and help her. He still has his mind on childish things he shared with her. He is trying to figure out what to do and thinks of all the things they shared growing up. She needs a good place to grow up and he needs to know how to act like a father to her.
Loch Raven is about helping a friend out. It's about being there for a fellow guy who is being hurt by a girl he loves. It's about trying to get someone away from dwelling on a girl by taking him out and showing him a good time.
Turn into Something is the most amazing song to me lyrically on the album because of how all the feelings are presented and portrayed. First, he starts talking about general ideas he's thinking about and then how he wants them to actually happen, aka turn into something (real.) Then, he talks about how he peeked on her and how he got caught. He starts to cry and she hugs him and tells him how she's happy to see him but doesn't want him to get the wrong idea because her loves fades away every time. She groans at the idea of being with him and he wonders if she really means she does not love him every time she says it. Then when he leaves he wishes she wanted him to stay every time. He talks about how she visited him and they had sex and they both didn't know what feelings would develop from it. Then the same feelings come up where she misses him but doesn't want to be with him and so they leave each other again. But he still wishes she would turn into something more.