Released: January 20th, 2000
Label: Domino Recording Co.
By: Jeff Han
Following a tsunami of hype on the heels of rabid fans, "Merriweather Post Pavilion" is Animal Collective's best and most accessible album to date. While most bands usually flounder with older fans in attempting to make their music more approachable to newer ones, Animal Collective have crafted an album that both old and new fans alike can embrace without sacrificing the weird experimental sound of their older records. The band has always been at its best in creating lush, colorful melodies and the record is ripe with them from the beautiful opener "In The Flowers" to the aqua chill sounds of "Bluish" and finally to the album's African breakdown closer, "Brothersport."
Despite a multitude of electronic and mechanical instruments employed throughout the album, "Merriweather" never ceases to sound like an organic substance, free from artificiality. The band has been garnering attention and press since their 2004 release "Sung Tongs," and with more and more eyes on them it will be interesting to see the direction they choose to go next with their unique, indefinable sound. Few bands show such promise, and even fewer bands have the talent to match the hype.