Band: Animal Collective
Grade: 9.7 out of 10
Comments: This, Animal Collective's debut album released in 2000, is far less than experimental their later work. The first song, "Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished," is mellow and ambient. "April and the Phantom" might be one of Animal Collective's least freaky songs considering there isn't too much noise other than a buzzing guitar, some drum, and a drippy dub beat. You can tell that the band isn't that polished. That said, it's pretty damn hard to tell if an experimental band is polished given the fickle nature of the genre. "Untitled" is where the fun begins. It sounds like somebody is being sucked into a black hole of noise. They are unrelenting, screaming none stop for help. Nobody helps them, though, and their cries grow louder and more rickety. At the end, it sounds like they are being zapped by some electric current. "Penny Dreadfuls" starts out laggard with a few sparse piano notes segueing into a Dark Side of the Moon esque verse about kids on a bus. I'd hate to call this a piano rock ballad, but it's tough not to. The best damn piano rock ballad ever, might I please add. "Chocolate Girl" is really awesome. It's hella long (8+ minutes) so make sure you have time to spear to listen. It's got this indescribable feel to it. Chill, I guess, works. Talk about a volte-face! "Everyone Whistling" is not really everyone whistling. It's an exactly one minute sampling of a noise you'd expect to hear in the woods behind your house on a midsummer night. "La Rapet" is about some girl named Isabelle. It's another real long one, but very much worth a listen. "Bat You'll Fly" is awesome in that it is more of a combo of jazzy/funk/tropicalismo than any other track on the album. Different fo' sho. A constant repetition of "I'll" and "someday" is the gist of "Someday I'll Grow Up To Be As Tall As The Giant." The instrumentation in this song is present on Merriweather Post Pavillion leading me to think that this song would fit just as well on MPP. "Alvin Row" is a fantastic finish.