Animal Collective’s ninth album has been ecstatically anticipated by many, and on paper I can understand why. They proved their soundscapes prowess with Here Comes The Indian, and the depth of harmonic texture and melodic hooks made Sung Tongs a magnet for new fans. Merriweather Post Pavillion blends the two, but dilutes the potency of each strength by doing so. Put simply, this album is only as good as the drugs you’re on while listening to it.
Pavillion opens as if rising from some murky, churning depth, a tiny organ glow building and radiating a hazy ambience until Avey Tare’s voice rises in a warbly, waterlogged depth, providing the only rudder for the song for a full two and a half minutes, until the line if I could just leave my body for the night, at which point the whole thing bursts into a galloping burst of harmonic weirdness and divinity, pounding away in some undetermined direction. This leads into the high 80s synths and failed attempts at soaring melody that is My Girls. In the span of nearly six minutes I’m reminded of almost every reason I’m so very thankful that we’re out of the 80s.