Animal Collective Review
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Leave it to Avey Tare and co. to begin a “dark” EP with a jam centered on a looping pan flute sample, the sort of melody which, taken out of context, wouldn’t seem out of place in a Three Stooges sketch. What’s strange about “Graze” in context, however, is that it is dark, albeit in a kind of bizarrely exuberant manner that only Animal Collective seems capable of pulling off. The stark contrast between the song’s swirling, tension-building first half and its polka-inspired finale is startling, with lyrics and dynamics evoking the highs and lows of the creative process and the lifestyle which accompanies it (“How does a band/Turn into such a thing/…What’s in my face/That warrants all this cess”). The rest of Fall Be Kind strikes a similar mood, finding a delicate balance between beautiful harmonies, pop song-craft, and sonic dissonance. “What Would I Want? Sky” and “I Think I Can”, in particular, are among the best songs the band has ever produced. That Animal Collective are able to find a workable balance in the midst of such relentlessly forward-thinking songwriting is indicative of a band in possession of rare musical intelligence, a refreshing depth and consistency in an industry laden with singles-artists. Again and again their music demonstrates that on an Animal Collective album, the Sky is the limit. (90/100)