Merriweather Post Pavilion – Animal Collective (2009)

Verdict – 9.4 

The eighth album by American band Animal Collective did not feature regular member and guitarist Deakin, and so went forth to creating guitar-less songs and following the success of Panda Bear’s (Noah Lennox, one of the lead singers) Person Pitch, used samplers as the primary instrument. This album will be labelled as their ‘pop’ album, for its undeniable Beach Boys vibe, but it’s really more neo-psychedelia, and experimental indie rock. For many people interested in music, this was arguably their most anticipated album of the entire decade, and fortunately, MPP met all expectations. Essentially, the album is pop perfection. Catchy hooks, abstract and lively production, surprisingly meaningful lyrics, the album is an aural treat. The vocal harmonies between Noah and Avey Tare (other lead singer) have never sounded better too.

From the moment, In the Flowers, explodes as they sing, “If I could just leave my body for the night”, they never let up, as MPP has an alarmingly near-flawless set of tracks, to which most are structured perfectly, alongside lyrics mainly detailing family, love, life. An album that sounds like growing up; noisy, cluttered, confusing, but ultimately refined and suitably exciting. The album’s best track, My Girls, is the perfect way to sum up this album. Transcendent music, largely repetitive, but as close to perfect a song can get. The song’s lyrics are some of my favourite, clever but simple, honest and true. Written about Noah’s girls (wife and daughter), they states, “I don’t mean to seem like I care about material things, like our social stats. I just want four walls and adobe slats for my girls.” (Adobe slats are an old roofing term). Other highlight, Summertime Clothes, has the simplest, but most notable and powerful hook in the album saying, “I want to walk around with you.”

Only Animal Collective could write a song like Bluish and make it come across so well, anyone else would have made these lyrics sound corny and childish. Blaring out, “Put on the dress that I like, it makes me so crazy, though I can’t say why” in the chorus is one of the album’s highest points, and the entire chorus is vocally stunning. Blue Eyes is MPP’s best showcase of vocal harmony, and with thumping production, the song is amazing. Brother Sport is the other real standout on the album, with repetitive lyrics and hooks being thrown on you, it manages to bury a place in your mind, all before those timely shouts of, “MATT!!!

The indie album of the decade, anthemic dance tracks, filled with sing-alongs, there is so much to like on MPP that it is hard to imagine anyone disliking it. The only reason this album fails to score a higher rating is simply because when it reaches the tremendous heights as My Girls and Brother Sport do, a couple of the other tracks sound comparatively weaker. But don’t let that deter anyone, this is one of the best albums of the decade, and a landmark for musical culture in the new century.

Top Songs – My Girls, Summertime Clothes, Brother Sport


2 thoughts on “Merriweather Post Pavilion – Animal Collective (2009)

  1. The production on this album was very refined, crisp and metallic, as opposed to previous LPs; I enjoyed it. I like how they were still able use tribal and chant rhythms and influences, regardless of their more electronic feel. My favourite track is Daily Routine followed by My Girls. Yeah I wouldn’t call this pop in the slightest. I’ve always found them un-classifiable, psych-experimental rock at best.

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