Named after the music venue just outside their home city of Baltimore, Merriweather Post Pavillion, Animal Collective's ninth album, might be my favorite of theirs thus far. Officially released today, 20 January 2009, over the years the band has meticulously crafted an unmistakable sound which this latest release continues to refine. Where their chants and ambient sounds may have been too avant garde for some ears in the past, Merriweather Post Pavilion builds on the pop-rock edge of their last album, engendering Animal Collective to wider appeal.
Consisting of their trademark dissonant sounds combined with gorgeously droning melodies and classical arrangements, this new full-length seems to play more to the low end of the sound spectrum. These catchy bass lines unrelentingly drive the music forward, conveniently lending itself to the remix phenomenon. We're betting on a ton of remixes to come out in the very near future.
My favorite track during the first few listens has to be "My Girls," which fuses a catchy synth violin triplet, vocal rounds and some heavy bass. Toward the end of the track simple hand claps and euphoric yells bring it all together. Heavily anticipated and already having made the rounds through leaked versions available on the internet, I've already heard it being played at a few bars and it sounds great. For me, it's one of those albums that sounds better played loudly or, as always with the band, on a pair headphones.