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Critiques CD: Animal Collective | Centipede Hz

Animal Collective’s latest tribal-funk opus is a somewhat more accessible followup to 2009’s acclaimed Merriweather Post Pavilion and 2007’s cacophonic breakthrough Strawberry Jam. And not unlike its two predecessors, its high points are so high that its low points – while not bad by any means – are rather forgettable in comparison. Absolute must-hear “Today’s Supernatural”, totally immersive with its palpable, textural instrumentation and mesmerizing vocal performance, reaches for the pinnacle of the avant-garde in pop/rock music. Following suit, “Applesauce” is a concoction of pacific melody and up-tempo groove, an aural phantasm of effervescence. In “Monkey Riches”, tribal-funk instrumentation leads some of the album’s most commanding lyrics, in which ringleader Avey Tare asks himself a universally relevant question: “Why am I still looking for a golden age?” Such a brief summary hardly does it justice, but Centipede is like an experiment in how much one can overstimulate the senses while giving a very real yet almost counterintuitive sense of pleasure.