Animal Collective
Tangerine Reef


3.9
excellent

Review

by Aaron W. STAFF
August 20th, 2018 | 83 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Get your eyes on the prize (wiping the burrito off the windshield).

Tangerine Reef is not for the impatient. Nor is it for the audience cultivated over the past ten years who had grown attached to Animal Collective's high susceptibility to pop hooks and Wilsonesque craftiness, albeit with a great sense of restraint in regards to the "wacky" factor a lot of their music tends to have. Tangerine Reef is for the people who had been waiting for the "experimental" Collective to make their return. After a long slew of records that found them conflicted between arena-worthy anthems and messy, abstract rock, often these albums found the band at a divide creatively. But what is being forgotten about the Collective's latest album is the fact the album stemmed from live improvisations; furthermore, it accompanies a film that goes harkens back to the 2010 effort Oddsac, which followed the same concept of an album first and foremost being the soundtrack to a series of visuals.

It's very wonderful to see the band, now without Noah Lennox (Panda Bear) for the very first time, return to this murky realm of distorted electronics, hollow drones and indecipherable vocalizations and not turn in a work derivative of anything else they had done before, lest we discovered the band felt it necessarily to record a faithful followup to the mediocre product that was 2016's Painting With. Whereas that was regarded by the band to be their "pop" album, inspired by the blazing quick lengths of what the Ramones' songs were, Tangerine Reef really comes across as their "ambient" album, taking a great deal of inspiration from the sound of Ohr-era Tangerine Dream (Zeit, from 1972, really shines through as a major influence on a number of songs) and Klaus Schulze's Cyborg.

The experience Tangerine Reef offers is, for a lack of a better word, sublime. Whatever one takes from it is quite varied, as already seen so far, and personally, it's a vastly introspective and ponderous record that I haven't seen nor heard from the band in ages, a direction that they haven't taken in well over a decade - and actually committed to for an entire record's duration. There's something beautiful in these glacial compositions, the way the trio (Avey, Deakin and Geo) just fully immerse themselves in this dark and lonely ambient improvisation and never at any point let themselves become lost within the depths of the reef. Despite it being an album of thirteen songs, all quite similar in mood, the work itself is a monolithic singular piece stitched together, much like a extended ambient soundscape or an art installation piece.

There are no harmonies, no hooks, no anthems, nor anything remotely accessible to be found in the audiovisual experience and falls more in line with the equally-introverted Sleep Cycle, a solo effort from Deakin, who returned after an absence on Painting With, and truly feels like the long-lost bastard cousin of earlier Collective albums, such as Danse Manatee and Hollinndagain, although with a more refined and textural sheen in comparison to the lo-fi abrasiveness of the band's infancy. Tangerine Reef takes what seems like a lifetime and a half to finally sink in, its dirge-like pace and melancholic self-reflection making it greatly impenetrable and very close to meandering, although it thankfully falls short of actually becoming as indulgent as it could potentially be. It's not necessarily a masterpiece nor was it ever meant to be a grand statement that'd capture everyone's attention; a low-key unveiling is more fitting, for it's the Collective's return to form, except in a way that nobody expected.




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Comments:Add a Comment 
Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
August 20th 2018


18000 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

why must you do this



Tangerine Reef - audiovisual: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCup2fmAUuk

Digging: Ichiko Aoba - QP

SandwichBubble
August 20th 2018


7817 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

"truly feels like the long-lost bastard cousin of earlier Collective albums, such as Danse Manatee and Hollinndagain"

Agree 100%, but I guess that's why nobody seems to like this

Digging: Zu / Mats Gustafsson - How To Raise An Ox

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
August 20th 2018


18000 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

ty sandy



seems like the boys have gone full circle



people don't like the weird stuff anymore, per usual, which could lead to more experimental releases perhaps? We'll see with the Music Box material if they record that as well.

Gyromania
August 20th 2018


25913 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Meh

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
August 20th 2018


18000 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

otay

Gyromania
August 20th 2018


25913 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Haven't been able to get into them since MPP, which I think was the most natural evolution of their sound. Everything since has seemed like a regression imo

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
August 20th 2018


18000 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

don't like MPP that much so ig i don't know i could relate to that

SteakByrnes
August 20th 2018


13489 Comments


hey FRIPP nice review :3

Digging: Joji - Ballads 1

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
August 20th 2018


18000 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

thank

Jacquibim
Staff Reviewer
August 20th 2018


2991 Comments


Good review but some of these sentences are in serious need of breaking up, especially that second sentence. The first two paragraphs are 300+ words interspersed with only 5 full-stops, and I kinda need to remind myself of the point you're trying to make amid all the extrapolation that isn't really that necessary.

A couple errors too, like "incredible snooty", "further more (one word)" and "There's (there are) no harmonies", etc. The semi-colons at the start of the conclusion aren't necessary as they don't separate independent clauses.

Otherwise, nice job. Still need to jam this.

Digging: Obliteration - Cenotaph Obscure

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
August 20th 2018


18000 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

and ty [3]

Arcade
Staff Reviewer
August 20th 2018


91 Comments


you've at least convinced me to bother listening to this, so that's worth something

Digging: Metro Boomin - Not All Heroes Wear Capes

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
August 20th 2018


18000 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

I would've found a way nonetheless

Arcade
Staff Reviewer
August 20th 2018


91 Comments


it's been ok background music whilst i do a crossword but it's also not obnoxious so i'll give it that

Mendross
August 20th 2018


489 Comments


Fuck that first sentence. I hate it

Mendross
August 20th 2018


489 Comments


Oh wait. I mean the second one . Then the third.

rabidfish
August 20th 2018


4189 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

oh boy oh boy let's see just how much this one sucks!

Digging: Black Kray - Ice Cream & Mac 10s

rabidfish
August 20th 2018


4189 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

yea it's bad

can't 1 this tho, i'd be implying this is somehow worse than MPP, St Jam or CHz and it's not THAT bad.

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
August 20th 2018


23925 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Album is a bit too ethereal and nothing more for my tastes

mindleviticus
August 20th 2018


9563 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

easily the best thing they've done since MPP



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