Control is the name of the game on this surprisingly dance-inducing album.
If previous Animal Collective releases were experiments in chaos, Merriweather Post Pavilion is an exercise in control. Though the crazy tempo changes, layered instrumentation, and looped samples we’ve come to expect are plentiful, the album is carried by percussion that makes more sense than not. Big and bouncy drum-and-bass beats, as in “My Girls,” make this a surprisingly dance-inducing collection from a usually cerebral band of boys. On the flipside, “Bluish” is a sensual noise ballad as Avey Tare sings, “I’m getting lost in your curls/I’m getting crushed out on the things that only I should see/Not for boys, they’re just for me,” while “Lion in a Coma” muses on mental/emotional uncertainty. Perhaps most satisfying is the epic last track, “Brothersport,” which could easily be played as one of those “get pumped” songs at a sporting event. That is, if the crowd was on acid and the half-time show was a Technicolor rave, complete with tribal dancing and a drum circle.
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