It’s difficult for me to talk about this album. It’s too vast. It never ends. It hijacks you into a sonic roller coaster and it spits you out at the end of the trip, while you still wonder what the f*ck has just happened. With Merriweather Post Pavillion you’re never in control.
Merriweather Post Pavilion
by Animal Collective
This album is a milestone in the evolution of pop music. Correction: in the evolution of music (period). It sounds like everything before, and not at all at the same time. This is the way you revisit the past to propose a brand new present, with admiration and curiosity but without nostalgia.
You can find a lot of things you know in this album. There is obviously pop, and psychedelia, and folk… There is the Velvet Underground having a sun bath in the west coast (those skinny pale dudes), or the Beach Boys at Warhol’s Factory, you choose, it’s up to you. There is a little bit of Graceland, the Paul Simon kind of Graceland. There is Jamaica, and San Francisco and even Liverpool. And then the Brians bless the whole, Eno the sound and Wilson the melodies. Form and content.
When guitarist Deakin took some time off after the release of Strawberry Jam (2007), Animal Collective went about writing a new batch of songs to be played without guitar. Inspired by the process Panda Bear used in Person Pitch (2007), the band used samplers as its primary instruments. All the basic functions are there; percussion, bass line, harmony, but nothing sounds as expected. The hallucinated mutant samples from who-knows-where build up the songs in a percussive fashion, conferring a halo of beautiful weirdness to the whole.
From a post-modern perspective, Merryweather Post Pavilion (2009) is the way the end of history sounds.
“Am I really all the things that are outside of me. Would I be complete without the things I like around”. This is the album that should be sent out of space in the next Voyager.
Andrés de la Casa-Huertas is an advertising creative who’s calling Dallas home after living in Spain, Ireland and UK. This all-in culture vulture works now for The Wild Detectives as Brand Director.