Monday, September 10, 2007

Best Music Week EVER: Animal Collective: Strawberry Jam

This week is pretty the mother of all musical excitement: the highly anticipated showdown between 50 and Kanye, the return of the Go! Team, the re-emergence of Black Francis, the stateside release of Simian Mobile Disco's super-duper Attack Decay Sustain Release. However, above the else, the record that may be 2007's best finally hits stores.
_______Whether the mainstream acknowledges it or not, Animal Collective is undeniably one the best half a dozen bands of the 21st century. They demand your full attention as they switch up their sound every album while simultaneously taking you away to their tribal paradise, and at the end of it all, you may not know what hit you. But you know it was good. Really good.
_______Strawberry Jam may be their best yet. The album's perceived "accessiblity" may gain the band a wider audience, but a record's approachability does not always translate into success. However, the record does triumph over the band's previous spectacular efforts due to its direct, unmuddled melodies and nakedly emotional vocals and lyrics. Much of Sung Tongs, as good as it was, found Avey Tare and Panda Bear harmonizing and fusing their voices with the record's swirling acoustic backdrop. As it turns out, the Collective may simply be better when offering conventional, climactic indie pop, fully imagining what Feels standouts "Grass" and "The Purple Bottle" hinted at.

Of course, this is not a revelation for most indie fans, who may have picked up the record months ago. Still, if you have not tasted the Jam yet...please try some.

Animal Collective - Winter Wonderland
Animal Collective - Fireworks

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