Published on September 3rd, 2012 | by greg0
Animal Collective: Centipede Hz:: Review
The ever expansive, psychedelic, folky soul brothers known as Animal Collective return on their ninth album, the curiously named, insect-inspired satellite of love party, Centipede Hz. Centipede Hz is the proper follow up to 2009′s breakthrough album Merriweather Post Pavilion. Many hailed Merriweather Post Pavilion as an instant classic that brought Animal Collective’s techno-infused psychedelic rock to the masses while at the same time it raised the bar so ridiculously high that any subsequent record would seemingly struggle to match its predecessor’s merits. Centipede Hz is one of Animal Collective’s more accessible albums and possibly one of its most densely produced.
At times, the sheer girth of Centipede Hz is overwhelming and almost makes Merriweather Post Pavilion seem quaint by comparison. Centipede Hz favors more traditional rock and roll instrumentation than previous albums, as Animal Collective appear to have given their extensive midi collection a reprieve. Centipede Hz is an audio experience that percolates, mutates, and contains sample upon sample of intricately layered songs that could play on a classic rock station if they were stripped to their core. “Today’s Supernatural” even features a grounded chord progression that doesn’t veer off into weirdness. The science fictionally cluttered “Rosie Oh” contains a pop song buried deep under its extraneous surface. Centipede Hz also reunites longtime contributor Josh Dibb (Deakin), who has been absent since 2007′s Strawberry Jam. Dibb’s contributions are considerable in terms of the album’s sonics and his first vocal take on the charmingly dense swirl of “Wide Eyed.”
Avey Tare takes center stage on the subdued album separator “Father Time,” which somehow manages to cram a children’s choir into it. Centipede Hz almost grinds to a halt on the sleepy “New Town Burnout” and becomes saturated with samples on the oppressively dense “Monkey Riches.” Centipede Hz meanders on both “Mercury Man” and “Pulleys” but it might have been intentional as they make their way to the hallucinogenic goal of album closer “Amanita.”
Centipede Hz is a progressive and transitional album for Animal Collective. While fans might be initially disappointed with Centipede Hz, rest assured that they’ll find something to enjoy in its deep grooves after multiple listens.