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Animal Collective – “Crimson” November 13, 2012

Posted by gwyoung in Music, Track Reviews.
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While Centipede Hz was a great record compared to most, the fact that it was a new LP from Animal Collective set the bar extraordinarily high. Though I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent getting to know each of the tracks on the album, I came out of it slightly disappointed, not only from my high expectations after hearing “Honeycomb” and “Gotham” (one of my favorite Animal Collective releases of all time and a perfect distillation of a career’s worth of experiments with their sound) but also because there was something off about it. I’m not sure if it was the off-kilter mixing, the disjointed songwriting, or something else, but it feels like it was missing a crucial element that every other release from the band has had up until now.

Now they’ve released one of the standout tracks, “Applesauce”, as a single, backed by another excellent cut that didn’t make the album. “Crimson”, like “Gotham” before it, is another beautiful ballad that flies in the face of the skittering chaos of its siblings from the sessions that ended up on record. Also like “Gotham”, the guitar and rhythm patterns hearken back to the syrupy sounds of “Feels” as Avey’s emotive vocals meander around tropical synth padding and gentle percussion, eventually bubbling up and bursting into a climax of the same child-like yelps, howls and squeals that peppered tracks like “The Purple Bottle” and “Street Flash” and settling back into an arpeggiated waterfall of sunny and warm electronic tones. Have a listen below, and you’ll see that Animal Collective have no problem saving their best tracks for singles and b-sides:

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