Animal Collective: The Judges’ Verdict

Following on from yesterday's post about Tinariwen, here's a transcript of the Uncut Music Award judges discussing Animal Collective's "Merriweather Post Pavilion".

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Following on from yesterday’s post about Tinariwen, here’s a transcript of the Uncut Music Award judges discussing Animal Collective’s “Merriweather Post Pavilion”.

Billy Bragg: There seems to be a lot of stuff out there, and in this award’s long list, where the ghost of Brian Wilson is strongly represented. It’s as if they’ve all invested in a Brian Wilson fader switch that they turn up and turn down at will; some put it to good use and others to not so good use, but I think Animal Collective put it to better use than most. Although I have to say that I’d already bought four of the eight albums that made the short list and Animal Collective wasn’t one of them.

Tony Wadsworth: Yeah, the Pet Sounds/Smile influence was really clear. I thought it was really absorbing album, and I wish I’d been able to spend more time with it. I wasn’t aware of it before it made this list, but I think I’m gonna end up falling in love with it in a big way. At the moment I’ve not quite got beyond how clever it is, so it hasn’t had a chance to get to me as emotionally as, say, the Grizzly Bear album has. They’ve got similar influences, but I think Grizzly Bear do it in a much more intuitive way.

Rachel Unthank: I found it quite difficult to get into, actually. It’s clever and creative, but I couldn’t find a way in, I couldn’t get any emotional interaction with it. Some of the others held my interest more, but I found myself falling asleep while listening to this.

Dave Robinson: An album that puts you to sleep can be quite useful! I must admit that I didn’t really have any great opinion about it, I hadn’t heard them before. In going through the list generally I was looking for an album that had mood swings. I find it really odd listening to records where people have hidden their best track right down at the very bottom, and getting there can be a bit of an uphill struggle. It didn’t make a huge impression on me, I thought it was quite derivative, but in a nice kind of way.

Bob Harris: I must convess that I had problems getting it out of its sleeve, not that we should be judging the packaging. Just getting through the folding box to the CD itself was a bit of a chore. However, when I finally managed to put it on my immediate reaction was that I was really gonna like it, but the more I’ve listened to it the less connected I’ve become to it. It’s really quite an odd thing. I’m always on the look-out for new things I haven’t heard before that I can play on my radio show, but I just found this album to be a bit cold. I was amazed that I did, because I’m a big fan of what are clearly Animal Collective’s own influences. Ultimately, it didn’t engage me, I think Rachel’s exactly right in her take on it.

Allan Jones: I really like it. When I first played it, like several of you, I thought it was a bit cold but really clever, I could appreciate the technique behind it. But listening to it more I’ve really grown into it.


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