Painting With Album Review
Domino Recording Company
Released February 19th, 2016
Genre: Experimental Pop, Electronic, Psychedelic Pop
Since the turn of this century, you could say that no other band has had a more diverse discography than Animal Collective. From the pretty acoustic sounds of Sung Tongs to the chaotic and playful jams of Strawberry Jam to the grand and dense trippy hits of their cult-smash album, Merriweather Post Pavilion, Panda Bear, Avey Tare, Geologist, and Deakin have made some of the most widely praised and celebrated experimental pop and electronic music of the 21st century.
On Painting With, Animal Collective (with the exception of Deakin, who’s sitting this album out) deliver their most accessible and direct album yet. However, this may seem to be their downfall with this project. The opener, “Floridada”, is an excellent track that sounds like a glitched-out Beach Boys song. “The Burglars” is an exciting and trippy song that sounds like it came from a futuristic videogame. And the song “Golden Gal” provides one of Panda Bear’s best vocal performances in a while backed by an uplifting, danceable beat. Unfortunately, some of the songs here just sound too simple and too similar, especially for Animal Collective.
For a good bit of the album, the band plays around with the alternating vocal effects that Panda Bear experimented with on his latest solo album, Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper. On some tracks, it complements the song, while on others it starts to sound very unnecessary. And many tracks here just don’t offer the usual psychedelic effects and sounds that AC fans have come to expect. Tracks like “Lying in The Grass”, “On Delay”, and “Spilling Guts” breeze by with the alternating vocal effect and a simple beat. However, many songs here do offer some interesting ideas and rhythms never presented by the group before.
Overall, it may be AC’s least experimental release yet. But it does offer what they always bring to the table with each subsequent album, a new style and a new direction.
FAV TRACKS: Floridada, The Burglars, Golden Gal, Vertical
LEAST FAV TRACKS: Lying in The Grass, On Delay, Spilling Guts