What Would I Want Sky was great but otherwise i think that EP marked the point where i started losing interest. fucking panpipe solo.
ahhh… panpipe pixie dance bit aside, tho
think it was a few months ago i listened and still thought it was decent
been meaning to dig out my copy of Feels. always found half of it great and half of it boring (the dreary ones like Bees). can think of 4 tracks i’d still enjoy but i imagine The Purple Bottle will annoy the fuck out of me now.
I meant to say to nestor initially: all that good stuff is still there. these are proper protean avant pop records, in a totally different league playing a different game to any of the immitators that followed (most of whom were aping Panda Bear anyway). if it annoys you when you go back, try listening a different way from a different mindset.
I feel like even long-terms fans will have accidentally internalised a lot of the neurotic internet hatred of AC. or maybe people will associate it with feeling younger, will find it jars now we’re all older and naturally bitter about life and stuff.
it’s funny that in the mid-to-late 00s before i’d really gotten into them they seemed to me to be the epitome of cool, as in a proper cool cult band that you only heard about online and felt very out there and experimental.
now a lot of their stuff feels to me like irritating hippy nerds trying too hard.
i think it was starting to experience a lot of their diehard american fans on the internet that started to shift my perspective and how i viewed the music.
if I disregard the associations with certain kinds of fans and certain kinds of casual critics, it’s all still incredible.
I think the busier stuff is the stuff that will seem even better again with time. it’s of a kind with XTC, Cardiacs, etc, weird, complex nerdy pop going way back. antithetical to anything that could manifest as, idk, a fake Spotify band, and so multifaceted and such an obvious labour of love that it’s inherently worthy?
Didn’t ever really enjoy their early work aside from some of the stuff on Spirit. Think they became a great band when they embraced a melodic sound with more traditional song structures.
That run through S Tong > Feels > S Jam > MPP was a genuinely exciting time watching them develop and gain more attention. It kind of felt like they were the most of the moment progressive and exciting band and I’d still have Banshee Beat and Fireworks fairly high up in a top 20 songs of the 00s list. Obviously in the cold light of day something like MPP didn’t deserve the 9.6 it got from PF, but it’s kind of understandable as I think a lot of people really didn’t want the ball stop rolling and it was great/weird to see a record like that in the recommended section of my local HMV.
However, I thought Centipede Hz and Painting With were both poor records, and I think it’s that (more than any issues with their overall sound not dating well) which has impacted most on their current status. CHz especially sounds the most like the outward aesthetic they’d projected (overgrown skater boy pretending to be on hard drugs) and that i’d always been happy to overlook because there was a depth to their music that made it more than just ‘wanky hippie stuff’.
Think you need the experimental stuff to explain the lure of Animal Collective in the 00s. You hear an album like Spirit and you hear an interesting and pretty unique combination of noise and folk music, but also great pop sensibilities underneath.
There’s sometimes this mystique with indie/alternative bands – the idea that a band could make a or the great pop album if they wanted to. With Animal Collective you got to see them peel back the layers and embrace those melodic sounds, traditional song structures and pop music in general. And succeed in it, and become pretty huge in the process.
For anyone who’d been following AC for a while, MPP was such an exciting moment, because it was a kind of reveal. The hype surrounded the arrival of pop music shaped in AC’s image. I remember being hungover at uni and watching CDUK or whatever the equivalent was on kids TV at that time and them playing the My Girls video and being mindblown that this was the same band as those noisy folk records that had pretty much got me into avant-garde music for the first time.
In the end, the reality couldn’t quite live up to the promise. Merriweather is a good record, but nothing truly ground breaking. They can be pretty fucking annoying. They were massively open to parody and derision - like the whole of twee indie pop really, it went mainstream, then completely out of vogue.
The 3 year gap was waaaay too long for a band celebrated for its prolific output to drop an album as underwhelming as Centipede HZ and just fed into the critics hands. Painting With, another 4 years later, borders on self parody and embraces all the twee stereotypes that had become so embarrassing.
I love everything they’ve done. I believe Painting With is the album I’ve listened to the most, and I really cannot see how anyone who likes MPP cannot like Centipede Hz. I’m one of those fans. AMA.
Centipede Hz is AC running out of ideas. It’s MPP, without the songs, recorded with borderline unlistenable production to mask a lack of ideas and give an air of experimentation. Had it been released 3 months after MPP, just another one of their quirky experiments, it would have been fine. As the long awaited sequel to one of the most critically acclaimed albums of the 2010s, it’s an absolute disaster
Well they’re certainly all words. Not one of them’s true though. Running out of ideas? Those songs go everywhere!
Spot on. Or in short, one is very good and the other is shit.
They have four fantastic albums (and Person Pitch is excellent too), which is four more than many acts manage. Even if they never do anything decent again, I’m not too fussed.
ITT Loads of hot take’s about Painting With.
Solid 9/10 for me…think you guys are getting confused with Centipede Hz - which isn’t great, agreed (assuming I’m right about you guys confusing both albums).
Having just listened to Hair Cutter: If this is an indication for the general sound / feel for the rest of the album, then I fear that The NME may be correct.
proper headphones album, this. really need to be in the mood for it – but it holds up really well imo
Loch Raven is a beaut. Tends to be under appreciated.
They did a magnificent version of that on the Painting With tour. Proper transcendent pagan woodland folk jam.
To give some idea:
what does it matter if MPP wasn’t groundbreaking? tbh I think that’s the wrong way of thinking about it; it’s revelatory more as these brilliant synthesists of disparate music strands hitting upon a melodically and rhythmically pure strain of their whole thing and it not being any kind of a compromise.