So far every Animal Collective album to date has been radically different the the last while at the same time introducing the listener to combinations of styles from all over music history and the world, which is one of my favorite qualities of any band. Not only this but the songwriting and emotion delivered on every album has been powerful and heartfelt, from Avey Tare's wordy Sid Barret style lyrics to Panda Bear's mantra meets nursery-rhyme approach. This album, to me, represents one the few territories Animal Collective had yet to try out: The traditional rock band approach. Replacing Merriweather's looped electronic beats and minimal percussion Panda Bear is sitting down at a drum kit for the first time since the band's very early days, albeit sans snare drum and high hat (snare being replaced by two congas and giant shaker filling the usual space of the high hat). Also new to the soundscape are actual bass lines where previously there had only been minimal bass or none at all. The songwriting has also taken a turn for the more direct. Animal Collective are known for throwing out the rule book on traditional verse-chorus-verse structure but on Centipede Hz most songs have a very recognizable verse-bridge-chorus pop/rock song structure which actually leads to some pretty dense songs that can only be fully grasped upon repeated listens.
Many have complained that the band isn't doing anything new on Centipede Hz and while that may be true in the scope of music history I would say that they are certainly doing something new for themselves. All in all the songwriting is strong, with one or two exceptions. Avey has once again taken most of the songwriting duties with Panda only including two songs (both great in my opinion) and Deakin finally contributing a song of his own that is a little long winded but has a great finish and is a perfect middle-point to the album. In the context of Animal Collective records I don't think this is the best they have made, but I still think it's a great album from one of the most influential groups of the last decade.
- Vinyl (4 September 2012)
- Original Release Date: 4 September 2012
- Number of Discs: 2
- Format: Import
- Label: DOMINO
- ASIN: B008GX2YS4
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Vinyl | Unknown Binding
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