Animal collective have struck gold again. Not only are the three leftover tracks from MPP great (Graze, I Think I Can, and On A Highway), but the entire EP is a brilliant and a wonderfully new style for the band, who have put out their best EP to date. With its run time of twenty seven minutes, Fall Be Kind has almost enough substance and style to be called an album of its own. The dark, cold, and vibrant textures are brilliantly contrasted with Animal Collective's ability to bring out their inner-jam. As accessible as their music has become, they've lost only a very small amount of psychedelia along the way; and this is coming from someone who thinks Here Comes The Indian is just as good as Merriweather Post Pavilion.
Graze (10/10): The beginning two minutes and a half of the song is a light, ambient vocal showcase which starts with Avey Tare backed with a beautiful violin and is followed by a nice solo from Panda Bear, both backed by hardly a rhythm but more of a texture. It's all really a perfect build up for the second half when it all fuzzes out until BAM! the most kickin' flute solo most will have ever heard. Then the avey and panda duo kicks in with: "Comfort, comfort,/ why do you run for it?/ why can't you keep doin/ what you're supposed to do? / Why can't i reach you/ when i most need you? / you're at the beach and/ i'm in some strange bed." And the rhythm takes you in while you find yourself nodding your head to the beat.
What would i want? Sky (10/10): Again showing the band's flawless method of blending two different jams into one great song. The first three minutes is just pure jam-tripping with Avey's mysterious "good genes?" looping in the background with crashing cymbols until the trip slows down, but quickly you find yourself venturing new territory before "Sky, What would i want? Sky," the notorious first legal Grateful Dead Sample, followed by some nice booming bass, and the jam begins. Though Avey's voice sounds a little production-y here, it all works nicely.
Bleed (8/10): A perfect middle-song. The darker side Avey spoke of in interviews is clearly present here. Mostly texture, juxtaposing Avey's slow droning-voice style with Panda bear's almost echo-y, smooth backdrop. It's short, sweet, and dark, and a perfect transition between the two halves of the EP.
On A Highway (9/10): A perfect opportunity to ride on the highway with David Portner (Avey Tare). The slow, ambient, highway-like sounds work perfectly behind Avey's inner thoughts as he rides down the highway, smoking hash, looking out the window, and just thinking about how although he should feel lucky for all the places he gets to go, he really just can't wait to be home.
I Think I Can (9/10): Perfect example of the band's fearlessness and progression; the song explores new styles while becoming one of their most intense songs to date, featuring a nice ensemble of layering vocals via Panda and Avey. The fire is eventually put out, though, when the song shifts tones quickly in the form of a dazzling Beach Boys-type vocal performance by Panda Bear followed by a repeated "I think I can I think I can I think I..." This one you will just have to hear for yourself.
I have to admit, though, my review is biased because I'm a huge fan. (and no i'm not a hipster, just a regular dude)