Make no mistake about it, Feels
is a trip. Now this might not seem like a very original or inspiring territory for music; there have been multiple other albums by an array of artists that have created trip and drug influenced records. The difference with Feels
however as opposed to those other albums is that Feels
isn't drug-motivated or outside influenced. Rather, Feels feels
likes a natural trip, as if nature is beckoning us to wonder about all that is life, devoid of man's intervention. It's organic, solely and completely, an album that sounds like the sun, the trees, and all the intricate beauties that make up our living, breathing environment. The wonderful thing about it is that life is a trip on its own; a colorful spectrum of lights and sounds and moments that weave through one another to create experience, and this is the pool that Animal Collective dive into with Feels
There's also a certain amount of child-like wonder to this album, made clear by Avey Tare and Panda Bear's various use of quiet giggling shouts and innocent banter about looking at the world through glaring optomism and purity. Feels
is constructed in a way that seems disjointed at first, but slowly reveals itself to be a complete experience, made significantly apparent by the album's first half that is folkier, more upbeat, and playful than the album's daunting 2nd half, which is layered with ballads and brimming ambience. The beauty is that the 1st half, after a few listens or so, starts to dissolve into the second half as the sunny and poignant "Bees" dissipates into the glorious revelation that is "Banshee Beat". It is on this track that Feels
's child-like wonder is most noticable as Avey Tare sounds like he's up in the clouds with his striking, bubbling vocals belting out lines like "So I duck out / go down to find the swimming pool / Hop a fence / leave the street and wet my feet / I'll find a swimming pool
" that are punctuated with "woo's!" and "ahh's!" that are brought forth with such clarity. There is also a warmth to Feels
as the swirling melodies feel like a blanket across your skin, sheltering you as a mother would her young. By the time the confident "Turn Into Something" unravels into nothing to close the album you're left better off than before you listened to Feels
, a smile upon your face, like the one you had when you were 3 and opened the first present of Christmas morning.
While that explains the child-like wonder of Feels
, "The Purple Bottle" is where Feels
takes on a completely different niche akin to the natural trippiness as stated above. Not only is the song masterfully crafted, seamlessly combining frantic verses with sudden chilled-out stops and a foot-stomping ending, "The Purple Bottle" may be the pinnacle of Animal Collective's career lyrically. "sometimes you're quiet and sometimes I'm quiet / hallelujah / sometimes I'm talkative and sometimes you're not talkative / I know / can I tell you that you are the purple in me" / can I call you just to hear you / would you care" / when I saw you put your purple finger on me / there's a feeling in your bottle, found your bottle, found your heart"
is as majestic as it is heartwarming and one can't help but to envision a purple goblin reaching out ever so slowly to graze across your skin. A child's imagery, for sure.
Natural, organic, mesmerizing, warm, hypnotic, Feels
is a wonderous journey through the innocence of childhood and the nature and curiosity surrounding our lives.