Merriweather Post Pavilion

January 20, 2009 | Format: MP3

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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: January 6, 2009
  • Release Date: January 6, 2009
  • Label: Domino Recording Co
  • Copyright: 2009 Domino Recording Co
  • Total Length: 54:42
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001P1FZDK
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,901 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

Customer Reviews

Really a fantastic album that only gets better with repeated listenings.
The rest of the songs seem pretty forgettable and just blur together into a mess of uninspired electronic sounds and lazy, spaced out vocals.
On this album, the sound is reminiscent of some of the forefathers of electronic music.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

88 of 98 people found the following review helpful By aquarices on January 20, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Animal Collective are one of the most acclaimed indie bands around. They're also one of the most polarizing. You don't often hear someone say, "Animal Collective? Meh. They're okay." It's either, "Man, they're freaking awesome," or "Ya, I just don't get it. What's the appeal?" I was a longtime member of the latter group until about a year ago. Admittedly, I hadn't heard too much of their stuff, what I had heard was mostly their oldest (read: weirdest) stuff, and I had never really given them the time of day. Then I heard the song "#1" from the album 'Strawberry Jam' and really liked it. I listened to the rest of the album and it all just clicked. From there, I fell in love with the band, dutifully scrounging up their past albums.

It was with great anticipation that I listened to 'Merriweather'. I had never heard any live versions of these songs at all before playing this album. I went in with completely virgin ears, free of any expectations or preconceived notions. IMO, this is their greatest album to date, and frankly, it isn't even close. That says more about the quality of MPP then it does of their previous albums.

This has more of an "electronic" sound (for lack of a better word) than past albums. It's not electro-pop or anything like that (maybe "Summertime Clothes" is), but it is very bassy and beat driven. You could almost put this on for a dance party (almost.) I could even imagine an avant garde hip-hop artist rhyming over some of these beats. After finding out that this album was produced by Ben Allen, who has worked with the likes of Gnarls Barkley, P. Diddy, and Christina Aguilera, it made total sense.

It starts off mellow enough, with the wonderful "In the Flowers.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By billy on January 22, 2009
Format: Audio CD
The hype has been deafening to say the least. As soon as this album leaked, there were bloggers and reviewers literally falling all over themselves to praise this album. They were already declaring the race for best album of 2009 over 20 days in to the new year and some even went so far as to declare Merriweather Post Pavilion the best album of the decade. One thing is clear, if 2008 lacked a clearly defined critical darling, 2009 already has one with this album.

MPP is sort of a refinement of the direction Animal Collective took with Strawberry Jam. Strawberry Jam may have been their first major stab at pop songwriting, and it felt like a conscious break from their previous work. Instead of working with studio trickery and writing songs based on what kind of warped madness and manipulation they could throw in, Strawberry Jam's songwriting felt sturdy, like they could stand on their own with just an acoustic guitar. MPP has this sturdy songwriting as well for the most part, and most of the rougher parts have been sanded off as well. There's no crazy howling like on Reverend Green or Peacebone this time out. MPP is smooth, dreamy, and downright pleasant. It might be their most accessible album.

MPP makes use of drum loops, samples, and electronics for most of its sound backdrops. It's not electro-pop exactly, but it uses these elements to make a hazy and dreamy atmosphere for most of the songs. It fits in with Radiohead's Kid A and Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot as albums that make creative use out of electronics while not being full blown electronica albums.

Sonically, it's most indebted to Panda Bear's solo album Person Pitch, particularly on songs like Guys Eyes and My Girls, where there's a lot of repetition and texture.
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29 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Barrettbowie on January 21, 2009
Format: Audio CD
For my money, Animal Collective's previous attempts at forging some pastiche of tribal spontaneity and skewed approximations of Beach Boy harmonies all failed miserably. I just didn't "get" them. The supposed cathartic power of their whimsical non-melodic non-pop song experiments was, to my confused ears, just pretentious dreck. The depth of their unconventionality, I was convinced, was matched only by their lack of talent.

Needless to say, this album really changed my opinion of the band. This is, as has been echoed by all of the fawning critics, their most polished, accessible, and ultimately best work to date. Which is to say, of course, that this is far from Top 40 material. The subtle layering of vocals over the wafting ether of what sounds like an orchestra of found organic sounds is really quite gorgeous.

In an age of the quick fix, individual MP3 song download, it is refreshing to hear an entire album that was and is meant as a whole album to be listened to in one sitting, in its entirety. MPP plays like some alien pastoral symphony, as one long piece divided into subtly shifting movements designated as "songs".

So maybe I was wrong about the band this whole time? I will definitely have to revisit their previous albums.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Oyama on January 21, 2009
Format: Audio CD
It opens with a low fuzz of some monster growl sound, followed by a guitar loop and some lyrics. And then Panda Bear's fast drum beat combines with high-pitched strings, transforming the first song, "In the Flowers," into one hell of a rave song.

With this opening, Animal Collective dives off the deep end with "Merriweather Post Pavilion," an awesome surreal blend of psychedelic rock with rave sounds. Animal Collective has always filled their songs with an amalgam of electronic sounds and samples with psychedelic rock. However, with "Merriweather Post Pavilion," Animal Collective instead combine the psychedelic electronica to create one hell of a mix of keyboard loops, blasting synthesizer sounds and echoing vocals.

This is one amazing album where all the talents of Animal Collective worked cohesively to make an awesome sound. Although I'll miss Deakin's guitars, Avey Tare and the gang really worked hard to make sure that they didn't sound as awful as the Smashing Pumpkins without their drummer. Panda does incredible work to play drums and synthesizer loops, while Avey Tare layers his echoing vocals with his keyboards and the Geologist's electronics.

It all sounds so incredibly beautiful. And this time Panda Bear is helping out a lot more too. In the second track, "My Girls," the Panda sings, "I don't mean to seem like I care about material things like a social status/I just want four walls and adobe slabs for my girls," his dream sounds so ethereal with fast arpeggiated electronic synthesizers and slamming bass drum sounds. And by the time he shouts "Whoooo!", I was completely immersed in this surreal world of Panda Bear's booming bass drums and Tare's swirling synthesizers.
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