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Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam

  by Jamie Rowland

published: 21 / 9 / 2007

Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam
Label: Domino Records
Format: CD


Fantastic collection of warped psychedelic folk-pop on latest album from the critically praised Animal Collective

Animal Collective’s latest musical offering is as consistently brilliant as ever, with nine songs of warped psychedelic folk-pop, the kind of music that seems to physically tug at your limbs and cause you to have to force yourself not to dance. The best way I can describe Animal Collective’s music is voluminous – it seems like the songs are filling the air around you, and the room becomes dense with sound. Layer upon layer of guitar, keyboards, samples, vocals, bass and drums, every bit of it carefully placed to make the song as good as it can be. But if I had to be specific, what I really enjoy about Animal Collective records, aside from the brilliant melodies, is Panda Bear’s amazing drumming. There is something so engaging about the sound of the drums, even on the band’s first offering, 'Spirit They’re Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished'. At one moment a cacophony of crashing and clanging, the next a rolling tribal drum beat, Panda Bear’s rhythms are an essential part of what makes Animal Collective such an interesting band. 'Strawberry Jam' follows on in style from previous album 'Feels', but still sounds fresh and original. Favourites for me include the immediately grabbing ‘Chores’, the epic ‘For Reverend Green’ and the brilliant ‘Winter Wonder Land’, which goes from thoroughly bizarre to impressively catchy. I would hate to hear this song when I was drunk, because I would undoubtedly dance like an idiot and love every minute of it. It’s a struggle not to now, and I’m stone cold sober. Finally, the closing track ‘Derek’ builds from a gentle folk story-telling song to a thumping folk shin-dig, and brings an all-round brilliant album to a close. Every now and then an album is released that is so good I can’t listen to it without grinning from ear to ear, and 'Strawberry Jam' is one of them. I know this review probably reads like a gushing load of old rubbish, and undoubtedly takes itself far too seriously, but I love this band to pieces and I don’t think I can write about them without that coming through.

Track Listing:-
1 Peacebone
2 Unsolved Mysteries
3 Chores
4 For Reverend Green
5 Fireworks
6 #1
7 Winter Wonderland
8 Cuckoo Cuckoo
9 Derek

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live reviews

Forum, London, 24/3/2009
At a keenly anticipated, strikingly visual show at the Forum in London, Mark Rowland watches pioneering electro act Animal Collective play a set which completely splits its audience
Bronson Theatre Centre, Ottawa, 8/9/2007
Coronet Club, London, 11/7/2007
Scala, London, 25/10/2005


Profile (2005)
Animal Collective - Profile
With their new album 'Feels' just out, Dominic Simpson profiles the career of idiosyncratic and experimental New York-based American psychedelia act the Animal Collective

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