Animal Collective combines best elements for “an experimental masterpiece”


photo courtesy of band's website

Animal Collective’s “Centipede Hz” picks up where they left off with their last album, “Merriweather Post Pavilion,” creating a successful mix of mindless experimentation with calculated lyrics.

Megan Pohle, Staff Writer

Animal Collective’s new album, “Centipede Hz”, released to the public September 3, combines both mindless experimentation and calculated lyrics, two sides of Animal Collective that rarely intertwine. After the success of their most recent record, “Merriweather Post Pavilion,” it’s hard to imagine the band could create another collection of songs as well done, due to their hit or miss past.

“Centipede Hz” begins with the song “Moonjock,” starting off the album to a synthetic pounding beat that manages to keep a chorus throughout the song, offering an intriguing start to the record. “Moonjock” has a creative yet fun melody, and is one of the highlights of the album. Track five, ‘Wide Eyed’, repeats a similar electronic beat, displaying Animal Collective’s more synthetic side. Its beat is a mixture of keyboard shifts and voice patterns, making ‘Wide Eyed’ another stand out track.

The the real breakout hit is “Today’s Supernatural.” Not only does the song immediately swing into the groove of the folk-pop lyrics, it also has a memorable beat. The song begins with the synthetic fluttering of helicopter wings, and leads into an immediate electro chorus that pounds and moves to the fast paced jumble of notes.

After a disturbingly melodic start to “Centipede Hz” the songs become even more cartoonish as the album continues. Each song has a trippy hook, and surprisingly more vocals than in previous albums. “New Town Burnout” brings listeners into a darker side of the album, seeming twisted and obscure, with a creepy undercurrent of synthesized vocals. The song ‘Pulleys’, also follows this more somber theme with its smooth and gloomy chorus.

Another song that shouldn’t be passed up is “Rosie Oh,” which captures the more cartoonish, yet mysterious side of the album. ‘Rosie Oh’ may be the most psychedelic track on the album. Its beginning immediately swings into the bumps and turns of the song, while still having catchy beat and lyrics. The song “Mercury Man” also displays the lyrical genius not always found in Animal Collective’s work by using tempo shifts and almost emotional vocal tones. At times the vocals wail in an electronic way, the vocal shifts adding more emotion, making the song have more meaning than most pieces on “Centipede.”

As wondrous and well made as ‘Centipede Hz’ sounds, it’s not hard to see that this album may only appeal to fans of more psychedelic music. The songs at times run off into long periods of instrumental experimentation, which can be boring. But, if audiences give ‘Centipede Hz’ a chance, or even a second listen, they are sure to find the mysterious genius hidden in Animal Collective’s work. Overall, Animal Collective seems to have picked up where they left off with their previous album, making “Centipede Hz” an experimental masterpiece.