Animal Collective – Strawberry Jam (Domino) 2007


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Well this is pretty good. For a band now on to there sixth album it’s a pretty impressive statement. Animal Collective are a four piece from Brooklyn and features Panda Bear along with Avey Tare. After the sheer brilliance of Panda Bear’s solo record Person Pitch I was really looking forward to this release and I wasn’t fucking disappointed. This is the most accessible thing they’ve done and it lacks the intentional obtuseness of some of their previous records. Anyone who knows their Animal Collective knows that like an annoying five year old they sometimes take it too far. There are moments of Sung Tongs where I just want to punch my ipod. Yeah I get the whole “so you thinking you’re getting a clever pop song do you. Try this high pitched squeal or one minute or barked yelping.” You know sometimes it just shits me. I’m enjoying the song and then they have to do something to fuck it with its pants on and I go, “GRRR!! Why did they have to do that for?”

Fuck it I’ll be honest sometimes what they do isn’t clever, it’s just arrogant. So why do I keep buying their records? Because most of the time the music is just so fucking great.

And after that rant on to Strawberry Jam. The sound is distinctly Animal Collective. No other band does this sort of stuff so well. So what do you get for your buck? How about the strong song writing of Feels passed through the blissed out psychedelic bowels of Person Pitch. I said in the post for Person Pitch that it was the album I always wanted Animal Collective to make. Well now they’ve finally released a record I can love all the way through. When I wrote accessible earlier on I really mean accessible for Animal Collective rather than the normal generic sense of accessible ……. if you know what I mean. There are heaps of their patented strange sounds, quirky noise and the odd yelp but the songs all hold together really well. There are even some strangely fucked up Beatlesque moments on this. It’s clever without being arrogant, it’s melodic without being saccharine and it’s the best thing they’ve done.

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