Animal Collective: Merriweather Post Pavilion

The first new album of original material for 2009 to enter my music collection is by Animal Collective. “Merriweather Post Pavilion” is the Eighth studio offering from these busy Baltimore boys and the first to come to my attention. It contains eleven avant-garde sonic compositions of noise rock, each consisting of a thickly layered tapestry of industrial beats, synthesised loops, sound effects and a rich topping of beach boy styled harmonic vocals. Occasional interest is supplied by the stripping away of some of the layers to reveal the tracks composite undercurrents and provide variety. However after eleven variations of this technique I was left with a deep yearning for a simple melody or riff played on a conventional instrument. As I downloaded this particular album, one essential aspect of the album that could easily be overlooked is the cover art. The small thumbnail on this blog doesn’t really do the optical illusion justice, so try finding a higher resolution version of the image and stare at it for a while. What appears to be a uniform pattern turns out to be a shifting complex image that actually seems rather apt for the contents of the album. Professional reviewers have been fairly united in their praise for this new album so I’m going to keep listening, to see if a deeper appreciation materialises. I’ll post an update in the comments field if I capriciously get the urge to elevate my opinion. In the meantime, I’m very much looking forward to what the music industry has in store for us in the first part of 2009 spearheaded by new albums from Franz Ferdinand and U2. Rest assured they are all pre-ordered from my favourite on-line South American river and will appear in this blog shortly.