Album Review: Meriweather Post Pavilion

Meriweather Post Pavilion by Animal Collective
8.9 of 10
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I became familiar with Animal Collective through a co-worker when she shoved a copy of Strawberry Jam on my face. It's a great album, she said, and the critics agreed with her. But despite the album's high ratings, I admit, I couldn't get into it. Maybe I was so enamored with Les Savy Fav's Let's Stay Friends during that time. Or maybe because the metalhead in me was rejecting their type of music. But whatever the reason, I think, the main point was that Animal Collective's music in their 2007 album was simply inaccessible to me.

Two years after Strawberry Jam, Animal Collective returns with a new album: Meriweather Post Pavilion. At first, since their previous work didn't really do it for me, I didn't care. But the anticipation of their album, spread by rabid fans, who plagued forums and the blogosphere, was so contagious. So when the album was released I started snooping for reviews, and the majority of which held the album in high regards. But, most importantly, they sang praises about the band's effort of widening their music's reach. That sold me into buying it.

During my initial listen, I fell in love with the album right away. But it grew even more on me as I repeatedly listened to it. I've never heard such a happy, but not cutesy, songs that invokes visions of summer, of people dancing in parks, that can warm you in a winter weather. From the swirling synthesizers and hand claps of "My Girls", a song about a man who only wishes a home for her wife and daughters, to the playful tribal chants of "Brothers Sport", a track that can easily put you on your feet and throw glow sticks into the air.

Animal Collective did an excellent job with Meriweather Post Pavilion. By digitizing various world music, from African and Brazilian tribal to British folk, and staying in their comfort space, the band have created their own unique sound. As for a wider audience, however, it maybe so. After all, I fell in love with it. But I still don't think it's for everyone. It maybe poppy, but not the kind of pop that plays on an FM station. It's electronica, but not so much because it's still grounded by the humanity of the lyrics, of the simple pleasures of life. Although I still encourage anybody to try it out. Because this is the first best album of 2009.

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