Animal Collective makes “The Best Album of 2009” with Merriweather Post Pavilion

animal_collective_merriweatherAccording to pretty much everybody everywhere, the latest album by Baltimore group Animal Collective is the best thing ever that will be made this year (sorry every other band in the world). Merriweather Post Pavilion (named after the music venue in our own backyard, Columbia, MD) is officially out today, despite early leaks online that let people freak out about how amazing it is.

Well I sat down with the album to see if our local dream pop band really laid the golden egg I heard about. What immediately strikes me about the album is that it’s on one hand pretty out-there musically. On the other hand, it’s very accessible. Most of the songs feature a dreamy background synth accentuated by snappy beats and weird chanted vocals. Unlike a lot of music these days, it’s not muddied up by overproduction. What exists here is a great balance between art and pop.

Merriweather gives off a very ethereal feeling that can’t decide if it’s rooted firmly in the ground of nature or floating through the infinity of space. Regardless, you can tell Animal Collective likes the idea of putting feeling into their songs and are inspired by something very natural and fluid. What it really is is musician’s music. Don’t expect catchy hooks and natural song format. The band is exploring this new world of sound and we’re just along for the ride.

The stand-out “singles” are clearly “Brothersport” and “My Girls.” The sound on Merriweather is definitely different and new, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s revolutionary. If anything it’s a slight tweak on styles that already exist. While Animal Collective might not have the pop appeal of say, Arcade Fire or Modest Mouse, this will definitely be the album people can buy and enjoy and say “look how cool and indie and into music I am!” Not that there’s a damn thing wrong with that.

Animal Collective – “Brothersport” (MP3)

Animal Collective – “My Girls” (MP3)

[MP3 links removed as requested by Domino Records]

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