Up until a few days ago, I wasn't really sure if I was even going to tackle a review on this record. I honestly had nothing to say about it. I found it very to be a straight forward record; obviously not the typical Animal Collective fare, and a little disappointing. I was hoping for a little more engaging and experimental music to redeem the underwhelming Centipede Hz, but that wasn't what I was hearing. Animal Collective music has always had a pop sensibility, but never like this. This is more a collection of songs than the experience I used to expect. The lack of definable sonic detours and trippy experimentation turned me off a bit at first. But then I listened more closely.
While Painting With is still no where near as experimental as Strawberry Jam or Merriweather
Post Pavillion, and is a lot more accessible and poppy, there are some very subtle qualities in the instrumentals here that evade the first few listens. These songs are extremely dense, and there are a lot of things going on underneath the vocals; swirling effects, arpeggiated synth lines and strange sounds. I would have preferred a little bit more of some psychedelic experimentation and adventurous nature as opposed to pop singles, but they do it well here as well.
This is going to be short, but if you're looking for some left field, electronic pop with some weirder leanings, look this up. If you're looking for some more experimental work like the band's late 2000s fare, you might want to sit this one out. Overall, I feel like this is a better record than Centipede Hz, but I'm not entirely on board with the group's more simplistic approach to the album. I feel like this record could have been taken up another notch by extending out tracks, and opening them up via sonic detours to really reconfigure the feng-shui of the listeners' gray matter.
Out of a total of five stars, I give this:
What did you think of this album? Are there any records that you're currently excited about? Let me know. Check back in for my opinions on the new record by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, This Unruly Mess I've Made.
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