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Album: Animal Collective

By Kyle Grim
On September 22, 2012

It's never easy to make a follow-up to a masterpiece. Animal
Collective's previous album, Merriweather Post Pavilion, was one of the most acclaimed albums of 2009. Their latest album, Centipede Hz, while failing to reach the same
heights as its predecessor, still manages to impress.
After taking a break from the group, multi-instrumentalist
Deakin returns. His presence is immediately felt due to his guitar playing, which is a little more noticeable than on previous Animal Collective albums. The opening track, "Moonjock," starts off with a percussive beat, beginning
with keyboards but eventually joined by a guitar. By Animal
Collective's standards, the song is extremely pleasing to the ear, with Avey Tare's vocals floating over the song in a surprisingly catchy melody. The production of this album is much rougher than their previous efforts. The band claimed
that they were trying to capture a live sound, so when recording they used live instruments, as opposed to the samples that they usually use. The result is a refreshing change of pace for the band, as many of these songs sound like they can be used in a live setting. The album's second track, "Today's Supernatural" contributes to the album's strong start. Keyboards layer the song and make the song easy to dance to, a rarity for Animal Collective.
Unfortunately, the album loses momentum in the middle.
"Applesauce" just sounds like a mess of sounds, with nothing standing out. But the lost momentum is picked up toward the end, especially with the closing track "Amantia." The song begins with Eastern sounding keyboards, giving
it a unique oriental feel. It is easily one of the best tracks on
the album and proves that Animal Collective hasn't lost its experimental touch. While not as good as Merriweather
Post Pavilion, Centipede Hz is still a fantastic album. Animal Collective continues to break new ground and redefine what a rock album can be. Fans of the band will not be disappointed and new listeners will undoubtedly find something enjoyable.


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