Audiophiles around the world have been waiting with bated breath for Animal Collective's newest LP, Merriweather Post Pavilion, and for good reason. Fears of the band losing its ability to create inspired and characteristic music are quickly quashed within the first few minutes of play. Less twitchy and, some might say, harsh than their last full-length, Strawberry Jam, the group moves towards a more electro, sampley sound, with treats of unconventional instruments like organ and didjeridoo interjecting.
"My Girl" is a standout track, boasting the most blatant examples of Animal Collective's new sound. Signature ethereal vocals weave in and out through electronic, tinkering arpeggios. They continue on as a groove takes over with toms and slapping noises propagate infectious head-bopping. The group's new direction is clear with the song's overarching melodic qualities.
Animal Collective strikes out in a more acoustic-sounding direction, finding a completely satisfying mix of layered vocals, piano and stick hits in "Guys Eyes." It works as a relaxing and refreshing counterpoint to the inorganic sounds felt throughout a lot of the album, while still maintaining cohesiveness to the other tracks with repeating samples driving the vocal and piano sections.
Merriweather Post Pavilion proves Avey Tare, Panda Bear, Deakin and Geologist's abilities to revamp their unique brand of musical inventiveness without losing the core of their signature sound.