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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Merriweather Post Pavilion

Posted on Wed, Jan 7, 2009 at 4:00 AM

Merriweather Post Pavilion
Composer: Animal Collective
Conductor: Animal Collective
Label: Domino
Release Date: 2009-01-07
Rated: NONE
Genre: Recording

That creepy-crawly optical-illusion cover art is a perfect match for the disorienting music — computer-generated textures topple beneath two guys harmonizing open-mic blank verse ( “I don’t mean/ To seem like I care about material things … I just want/ Four walls and adobe slabs/For my girls”) until it sprouts earworms. Swallow some Dramamine, but don’t put the headphones down.

Pining opener “In the Flowers” risks rock-’n’-roll cliché, but when Avey Tare agonizes, “If I could just leave my body for the night,” he rips a vacuous hole in the galactic fabric while every tinkling, cutesy percussion instrument in the world plays at once. “My Girls” finds a futuristic jam in the ancient wish to provide a “proper house” so catchy that the rambling “adobe slabs” nonsense becomes positively uplifting. “Also Frightened” deconstructs a mellow family vibe to expose the death-anxiety inherent in genuine happiness. “Daily Routine” mystifies a father’s daily stroller push with steam-punk percussion and high-speed organ-esque loops, then slows to an infuriating crawl to mimic the monotony. And “Bluish,” with its pulsating jellyfish-fart beat, toy pianos, and nervous vocal come-ons, is sexy in about the weirdest way possible.

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