Features | Awards

The Marty McFly Award for Best Album of 2009 in 2008

By Traviss Cassidy | 20 December 2008

Animal Collective
Merriweather Post Pavilion
(Domino; 2009)

Really. Because even if Animal Collective phone it in on Merriweather Post Pavilion’s remaining nine songs, right now I’m spinning on repeat two veritable motherfucking jamz called “Brothersport” and “My Girls” that play like a highlight reel of “How Animal Collective Went from Being a So-So Live Act to Being a Completely Fucking Indispensable Live Act” broken into two six-minute increments. (Your mom screaming at you to “turn the goddamned volume down” constitutes the commercial break. Lather, rinse, repeat.) Right now I’m trying to get over the fact that Animal Collective have slyly turned into a stadium pop band while we weren’t looking (and we thought we were looking ever so closely too!) and then, poof, they’re no longer constrained by Earth’s gravitational shackles.

The album title and the half-dozen or so Merriweather listening parties both make total sense now. “Brothersport” and “My Girls” simply beg to be played on oversized, booming speakers favoring the low end and tilted ever so slightly upwards so as to project these electric vibrations into infinity where they belong (and where they can be best appreciated). That’d be intergalactic diplomacy of the highest order, I reckon. But honestly: where could “Brothersport” have been recorded if not in a vast Midwestern field yawning at the expanse above? Also, how awesome is it that “My Girls” is perhaps the most bombastic, tectonic plate-shifting Animal Collective joint ever, yet the whole thing’s directed (ostensibly at least) toward Panda Bear’s little daughter, Nadja, who can’t possibly be more than three feet tall and who probably trembles so much every time the bass kicks in that her slippery, soled feety pajamas send her wiggling uncontrollably into a strange, spastic, yet wholly appropriate dance?

As on recent knockouts such as “Chores” and “Derek,” both “Brothersport” and “My Girls” find Panda Bear taking lead vocal duties, preaching his tonal gospel from one end of the stage as Avey provides the whooping foil from the other. Judging from all the batshit-crazy bloggers desperately trying to get their meaty paws on a leaked copy of this record, it seems AC are now indie rock’s RH, with all the most annoying qualities that distinction brings. The bad/good news is that this’ll only get worse, as Merriweather is poised to become the most crowd-pleasing offering in the band’s already overflowing collection. Luckily, for every new convert it consumes, Animal Collective’s bandwagon just gets bigger and mightier. So, repeat after me: roll baby roll!

p.s. Fuck you, internet.