If you spent a lot of time on MySpace.com circa 2007-2009 you’ve most likely heard of Animal Collective. And if you were alt enough to regularly read the now defunct Hipster Runoff you most likely owned Merriweather Post Pavillon on vinyl.
The Baltimore based experimental pop trio released their tenth studio album Painting With last week. Centipede HZ (2012) was their most recent release and let’s admit it: us aging hipsters were waiting impatiently for some new material. Ah, nostalgia.
Once opening track “FloriDada” starts I remember Animal Collective’s knack for making one question their sobriety. Sounds as if it belongs as a theme song for a children’s television show, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
By the third track “Hocus Pocus” the novelty has worn off. Like, okay we get it. Animal Collective knows how to make an eccentric quirky pop song. Painting With begins to coast, string after string of repetitive melodies echo through my speakers.
“Bagels in Kiev” stands out as Lennox charismatically proclaims “bagels for everyone!” – a sentiment I heartily endorse. “Golden Gal,” one of the more notable tracks, is evocative of their 2009 hit “My Girls.” Maybe it’s their followup?
Closing track “Recycling” is titled appropriately. Summarizes how Painting With is essentially a recycled Animal Collective record and I could not have said it better myself.
It’s clear that Animal Collective have not changed their aesthetic. A new Animal Collective album is what the people wanted and that is exactly what they got. It’s not groundbreaking or engaging. They have their distinct sound and just like the idiom: “if it aint broke, why fix it?”
3 out of 5 thrift shop flannels.