If your life has ever lost it’s meaning, and you begin to feel irrelevant to this world, pop in Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavillion. The album makes you feel like your life has its own soundtrack, and suddenly, you are part of a story again, back to being a main character.
Most of the songs are filled with carousel sounds that make your head spin. The album toys with the line between playful and creepy. I say creepy because it is just weird enough to rouse the id inside of you that gets addicted easily. This is one addiction that should be fed as frequently as possible. The soul rocks out; meanwhile, the brain is stimulated into questions about why we are written into the world by lyrics that tap into every human’s need to seek true purpose.
The band members often switch up roles within the band, which allows everyone to be expressed, giving their listeners a taste of each of their lives. They have come a long way from where they started, writing about psychedelic experiences at 16.
Now they sing about wives and children and their desires to be good men for the ones they love. Songs like “My Girls” and “Daily Routine” show a newfound maturity and grace without the loss of the bands spunky style.
In “Daily Routine,” Panda Bear (one of the lead singers) describes the simplicity of his life with deep appreciation, singing “What good is it to make it fast?/Sing a song to pass the playground/What can I do as traffic pass?/Guard my girl from muffler’s black gas.” He is a living paradox to pop culture, a rockstar who makes declarations on the worth of family, which seems to be scarce in today’s world.
In “Also Frightened,” (a song in which he wonders if the world would be a better place if his kids
turned out like him), he describes his children beautifully with “Excited and screamin’ their voices grow wild/And rise with the birds mating up in the pines/Down to the puddles that breathe covered by leaves/With mud they make prints on their backs.” With this album, Animal Collective looks deep into their own lives while making you question yours.
Though their lyrics may be profound, their sound never gets too serious. The happy pounding your heart sends into your head when you’re running to base as a kid is the best way to describe the staticy, pounding rhythms of Merriweather Post Pavilion.
Playing over the bass are high-pitched, bubbly tones, sort of like MGMT but much better. Animal Collective blends this sound, along with their voices, whose harmony is something like that of an old school revolutionary band such as The Beach Boys or The Beatles.
They combine a futuristic sound with the lost elements of vintage rock. Take, for instance, the song “No More Runnin’.” This song is like a modern day Simon and Garfunkel piece; you can almost see the chlorine water sloshing against Dustin Hoffman’s scuba gear while it plays.
Animal Collective incorporates some of the most honest lyrics music has yet to know, where they long for easier days of “back porches with the torch of a Firefly-lit tree.” The band that started off sporting face paint (artistically so, not like that of old Jewish men with super long tongues) is not afraid to unmask themselves for their audience. By doing so, they have created an original almost spiritual experience. The only downfall, (if such a band had to have one) is that every now and then the poetry of their lyrics is lost in such an overwhelming sound. However, if this ever does happen, one can still get lost in the deep beats, where meaning is still waiting to be discovered.