i’ve been struggling with merriweather post pavilion. animal collective have become one of my favorite bands over the years, and i found this album to be a little bit of a let down. mpp is almost universally loved by critics and fans alike, so i kept wondering what am i missing? also mpp was released the day after my mother passed, so how much did that shape my opinion?
nothing about this album surprised me, there seems to be a lack of spontaneity. it is too refined for what i look for from animal collective. to me it seems that all the members must be in good places in life and this album reflects that. i’m glad everyone is happy, i just like some pain in the beauty. mpp is a collection of airy, breezy songs. almost like they are trying that prove that beach boys comparison they always get. what’s missing is the random noises and screams, the songs have no punch at all. i can respect that a groups sound matures and develops, often to a totally different place than they started at. i guess i was hoping that ac would keep some of it noisy outsider roots.
hoping to discover what i’ve been missing i listen to the album quite a bit. i’ve come to appreciate the sounds and production, part of me wishes that the vocals were lower in the mix though. at times it sounds like another panda bear solo album, he does have more of a vocal presence. the songs are catchy and sing-a-long-able, not something that can usually be said about ac songs. i’m not crying sell out or anything, but they just seem to be going in a rather safe direction.
still i am looking forward to seeing them live in a couple of months. i doubt they will disappoint live. i haven’t written them off yet.