Animal Collective’s ‘Painting With’ Baffles The Mind (ALBUM REVIEW)


animal-collective-painting-with-754It’s hard to imagine a band more divisive than Animal Collective, a wonky group of guys who straddle the line between stunt and seriousness. But no matter what you think of them, they really don’t sound like anyone else, and even if the way they do sound is not for you, it is difficult to avoid the intrigue that comes when you hear them. On their latest record Painting With, they play with sound to the point of complete experimental self-indulgence. The arrangements listen like a bad acid trip at their worst, and at their best, like a manic fun house soundtrack. No doubt, going to an Animal Collective show must be an uninhibited experience of pure, wild, primitive freedom.

Painting With is a carefully controlled mess, and rather than a kumbaya, au naturale drum circle feel, the sound created here is more like a deeply complex piece of machinery. It clicks and ticks and kerplunks and whistles and toots and squeaks, among other things. With their isolated harmonies laid on top (or underneath – it’s hard to tell), songs like “Lying in the Grass” and “Vertical” are baffling headaches that meander and do nothing but serve to make you wonder how soon they’re going to end.

Where in the past, the band’s vocal harmonies could stand out as beautiful and powerful, on Painting With, they just blend in with the robotic mess of all the other sounds and effects. They function as their own mechanical set of gears to turn up, down or sideways, and any sense that you’re listening to actual people singing is stripped away. Some songs less so than others, for instance “Golden Gal” operates almost as if it has a chorus, and “On Delay”, though redundant, has occasional warmth. The album is at its best, though, when the vocals disappear almost entirely, such as on the (somewhat) pretty “Recycling”.

Still though, it becomes difficult to dismiss Animal Collective entirely, as Painting With is so intricate and craftily put together, like a weird abstract art project, that it ultimately falls to the listener how to tolerate it, or not. To many ears, the chaos of “The Burglars” and “FloriDada” (one of the only tracks that invokes any sense of joy) will just be stressful and sound like a mess. But others may hear something else buried deep in the vast layers that make up these songs. And given their ability to sell out shows, it’s clear that there are plenty of pleased ears. Painting With will either leave you fascinated and curious to hear more, or it will leave you wondering how fast you can turn it off and make it go away.

[youtube id=”Y7O0rBGSqjI” width=”630″ height=”350″]

Related Content

40 Responses

  1. Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all folks you really recognise what you are speaking about!
    Bookmarked. Please also talk over with my site =). We will have a
    link change agreement between us!

  2. Good website! I really love how it is easy on my eyes and the data are well written. I’m wondering how I might be notified when a new
    post has been made. I’ve subscribed to your RSS feed which must
    do the trick! Have a great day!

  3. That is very interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger.

    I have joined your rss feed and stay up for in search of
    more of your excellent post. Also, I’ve shared your website in my social networks!

  4. Thank you for every other fantastic post. Where else may just anybody get that kind of info in such a perfect manner of writing?
    I have a presentation subsequent week, and I am at the search for
    such information.

  5. I’ve been exploring for a bit for any high quality articles or blog posts on this kind of space .
    Exploring in Yahoo I finally stumbled upon this
    web site. Studying this info So i’m satisfied to exhibit
    that I’ve an incredibly just right uncanny
    feeling I found out just what I needed. I most certainly will make sure to do not fail to remember this site and provides it a glance regularly.

  6. Thank you for another informative website. Where else could
    I am getting that type of info written in such a perfect method?
    I have a project that I’m just now operating on, and I have been on the glance
    out for such info.

  7. Good ? I should definitely pronounce, impressed with
    your website. I had no trouble navigating through all tabs and related info ended up being truly simple to do to access.
    I recently found what I hoped for before you
    know it at all. Quite unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add
    forums or anything, website theme . a tones way
    for your customer to communicate. Nice task.

  8. An intriguing discussion is worth comment. I believe that you need to publish more on this subject matter, it might not be a
    taboo matter but usually people don’t discuss such topics.
    To the next! Kind regards!!

  9. I’m still learning from you, but I’m improving myself.
    I certainly love reading everything that is written on your site.Keep
    the information coming. I enjoyed it!

  10. My husband and i felt very joyful John managed to complete his investigations from your ideas he grabbed through your blog.
    It’s not at all simplistic to simply find yourself giving for free information that many some other people
    have been trying to sell. We really discover we have the website owner to be grateful
    to for that. The most important illustrations you’ve made, the straightforward site navigation, the friendships you help promote – it’s
    many great, and it’s letting our son and us understand the topic
    is pleasurable, which is certainly rather fundamental. Thanks for the whole lot!

  11. Magnificent goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous
    to and you’re just too wonderful. I actually like what you’ve acquired right here, certainly like what you are stating and the best way during which you
    are saying it. You’re making it entertaining and you
    still take care of to keep it sensible. I can’t wait to learn far more from you.
    This is really a wonderful site.

  12. As I website possessor I believe the content material here is rattling fantastic ,
    appreciate it for your efforts. You should keep it up forever!

    Best of luck.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recent Posts

New to Glide

Keep up-to-date with Glide