Imagine a bubble of psychedelic colours twisting with the consistency of an oil slick on a hot path, out of the spacey blend emerges an eye ball, and the vast infinity of space opens up beyond. This is just one of the images conjured when I listen to the new Animal Collective album Merriweather Post Pavilion.
The eight studio album from the Baltimore outfit is probably they're best received to date, and for good reason. The 11 tracks span across blends of looping electronics and repetitive harmonies that at times make one think that a hard 4/4 beat would make them dance floor classics across the land, but the band never lets it get quite that far. Instead tracks linger off into psychedelic whirls of sound and vocal drones escape into a midst of pops and clicks. At times MPP reminds me of The Flaming Lips but never for long enough for me to think they've been ripping them off and this is what makes the album that bit better. History damned to repeat itself? Not in this case. Animal Collective, although having grasped a rather solid fan base over the last few years have probably now done enough with this new album to confirm a much wider audience as part of their listenership. It seems a new era of acid-inspired pop has made it to market and is setting up the tie-die resurrection.
Merriweather Post Pavilion goes down smooth and blends seamlessly together, it's early doors, but I'm guessing this will still be one of the top critic's choices come next December, and deservedly so.
Review By Patrick Fennelly