Merriweather Post Pavilion (Domino)
Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., Feb. 6, 2009
Animal CollectiveMerriweather Post Pavilion (Domino)
The praise bestowed on Animal Collective is justified, even if the exultation over the Baltimore-born trio's latest LP is overblown. From the group's freak-folk anticipation on 2003's Campfire Songs to its ushering in indie's new density with Feels (2005), the Collective forges musical frontiers even when the results are scattershot. Merriweather Post Pavilion decamps as the outfit's most consistent album, readily remixable but largely lacking moments of thrilling unexpectedness that redeemed the band's electro-eccentricities. "In the Flowers" opens with an eerie and subdued underwater warp, but its midsong surge is predictable and uninspired, as opposed to the touch of Beach Boys harmonies on the equally mellow "Bluish." "My Girls" and "Summertime Clothes" are catchy highlights, the latter layering skuzzy beats under chanted verses, but the droning "Daily Routine" is as tedious as its title. Animal Collective has backslid into a comfortable, but unfortunately unexciting, middle ground.
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