Album Review Music

Animal Collective – Fall Be Kind (2009) – Review

Graze – 9/10   Titled “Pan Flute Jam” on early bootlegs of the song the pan flute sample is in full effect but doesn’t make its appearance until a little over 3 minutes into the song.  It starts with digital notes that almost sounds like the high notes of a violin sped up and oscillating .  Avey and Panda Bear exchange a few vocal melodies as we build to the pan flute loop.  When it finally kicks in it is a little stunning (in a what the hell is this way) , but the vocals and low snyth notes turn it into a fun dance jam and you bop along

What Would I Want? Sky – 10/10   There was a lot of hype around this tune because it contained the first ever licensed Greatfull Dead sample and when this studio version finally was released I was cautiously optimistic (not being a Dead fan).  2 minutes of swirls and Panda Bear chants that would sound right at home on his Personal Pitch record start the song and then a short guitar break before we launch into the GD sampled vocal melody in 7/8.  A basic beat accompanies the vocal sample and Avey sings while the noises in the background build and then we launch into the amazing chorus.  The chorus isn’t that much different from the main riff, but it is the slight change in guitar pattern as well as the overdubed noises that turn this into the best Animal Collective song ever written.

Bleed – 7/10   This is the big drop after such an amazing song, Bleed sounds like it was transmitted from some distant point off in space.  Avey and Panda Bear sing heavily drenched vocals and the sounds pulse like the swaying of a boat.  The song never really takes off, instead flickering in and out of conscious like a star in the night.  It is hypnotic yet easily forgettable.

On A Highway – 8.0/10   Like a companion piece to Bleed, it starts as though it was transmitted from the same distant planet, with noises and blips splattered about.  The big difference is that by the time Panda Bear starts singing harmonies, there is a solid percussion line picking up the tempo a bit and breaking up the spacey sounds.

I think I Can – 8.5/10   The Ep closes with a Panda Bear lead track.  It would fit nicely on Personal Pitch but the difference is that he develops a little more of a vocal line instead of relying so much on repetition.  This track is very cohesive with the rest of the tracks on the Ep and lacks the same sonic variation as the previous 2 tracks but it finds a nice groove with percussion and head bobbing samples.  The “Will I get to move on” hook towards the end of the song is a solid ear worm and is the standard Animal Collective pop sensibility that set them apart from the rest.

Overall Score – 8.5/10

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