Some albums are destined for house party mixes, some are destined to collect dust on discount racks. The vast majority fall in between, hailed as masterpieces by those with the corresponding acquired taste. That’s just the way the music world shuffles.
Animal Collective’s latest, Merriweather Post Pavilion, is one of those you won’t find in the gym or on Gidget’s iPod. Where you will find it is on the lips and stuck in the minds of every alt-rock fan this side of noise pop. The potluck of ambient noise brought to the table by Animal Collective may overwhelm the less synth-prone, but there’s no arguing against a band doing its own thing and doing it
well. Despite Brian Weitz’s electronic mastery, Merriweather Post Pavilion hits its emotional chord through David Portner’s lyrics. That’s not to say Weitz’s job is effortless. Creating tribal psychedelia out of experimental instrumentation and an African beat isn’t easy. And the alarm-clock start to “Daily Routine” is so convincing you’ll instinctively reach for the snooze button. But there’s waking power in Portner’s unabashed admittance of fear and loneliness, repeated in the line “Are you also frightened?”
Animal Collective may not be fit for the treadmill, but this album won’t collect dust.