Merriweather Post Pavilion is the eighth studio album by Baltimore experimental group Animal Collective, released on January 6, 2009. As expected of the band, this album marks a departure from the Noise Pop sound of their previous effort, Strawberry Jam, focusing on a more ambient-drenched electronic style. After guitarist Deakin temporarily withdrew from the band for personal reasons, the remaining members used samplers as instrumentation in lieu of guitar, and set up PA systems around their recording studio to replicate their live sound.
The album was first hinted at in an update to Animal Collective's official website before it was officially announced in October of 2008. This was followed by promotional listening parties across both America and Britain, as well as numerous leaks onto the internet. Merriweather is also noted for being one of the first major albums since Pearl Jam's Vitalogy in 1994 to be released on vinyl before it was released on CD, heralding the vinyl revival truly kicking into gear (the revival started in 2007, but this release and its major success for Animal Collective proved that vinyl's market comeback wasn't just a fad).
If you've ever discussed music on the internet, you may have seen this album be brought up a few times. Praised for being a perfect blend of pop accessibility and Signature Style, Merriweather Post Pavilion ended up being the most critically successful album of 2009 according to Metacritic. Multiple reviews immediately named it as the best album of 2009— "immediately" meaning its release in the first week of January— and continue to hold these views to this day. Today, it's universally considered a classic, cited as an amazing pop record and one of the best albums of the 2000s.
LP OneSide A
- "In the Flowers" (5:22)
- "My Girls" (5:41)
- "Also Frightened" (5:14)
- "Summertime Clothes" (4:30)
- "Daily Routine" (5:46)
- "Bluish" (5:14)
LP TwoSide C
- "Guys Eyes" (4:31)
- "Taste" (3:53)
- "Lion in a Coma" (4:12)
- "No More Runnin" (4:23)
- "Brother Sport" (5:59)
CD releases are across a single disc.
- Avey Tare - vocals, electronics, samples, keys, guitar, percussion
- Panda Bear vocals, samples, electronics, percussion
- Geologist electronics, samples
And if I could just leave these tropes for the night:
- A Date with Rosie Palms: "Guys Eyes".
- Broken Record / Looped Lyrics: The majority of the album, but "Brother Sport" is probably the most extreme example of this, as EVERY section of the song consists of this.
- Design Student's Orgasm: The cover of Merriweather Post Pavilion. It's an illusory-motion graphic.
- Fading into the Next Song: Frequently used in this album.
- Manic Pixie Dream Girl: The dancer from "In the Flowers".
- New Sound Album: Compared to Strawberry Jam, though it does relate to Panda Bear's solo album Person Pitch.
- Shout-Out: "My Girls" is built around a arpeggiated synthline reminiscent of Jamie Principle's "Your Love".
- Spiritual Antithesis: To Kid A by Radiohead. Both albums came out within the same decade, are considered among the greatest albums of that decade, and sport an experimental, electronic-infused sound that emphasizes texture and timbre over traditional melody and lyricism. However, the two are polar opposites beyond those similarities, with Kid A coming out in the first year of the decade and featuring a haunting, minimalist sound with lyrics of apocalypse and personal crisis, and Merriweather Post Pavilion coming out in the last year of the decade and featuring a lushly dense and layered sound with more wistfully abstract lyrics covering broadly romantic themes.
- Subdued Section: "No More Runnin", bringing the album to its most subdued point, right before "Brother Sport" closes it.
- Surreal Music Video: "Brother Sport".
- Textless Album Cover
- Uncommon Time: "Lion in a Coma" is in 9/8 time.