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"Danse Manatee" is enjoyable too but is a more difficult album to get into. For the most part it dispenses with song structures and relies more on textures and noises creating an overall atmosphere. For this reason it works best as a whole, rather than as individual tracks. You can tell it is the same band but the approach is quite different and new listeners may find it too impenetrable at first.Read more ›
That being said, any recommendation of this album needs to come with a caveat: this is hardly easy listening. It may immediately grab you (as it did me), take a while to settle into, or quite possibly alienate you from the beginning and never reconcile the differences that have separated the two of you. The very first track blasts right out of the gate with incessant high pitched squeals and seemingly random noise bursts, but the track isn't an aggressive onslaught in the vein of Merzbow despite the initial appearance, instead there is a gentle pop song hidden beneath the ostensibly aggressive onslaught. Lyrics of childhood and innocence permeate the noise here and throughout the entire album. This incongruity is perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of the release. Had Avey Tare and Panda Bear simply picked twee pop or punk noise the album would be much more accessible, but instead they synthesize both genres despite the obvious inherent difficulties in such an undertaking.
The first track's high pitched squeal doesn't last through the whole album and some of the later tracks could probably even be inviting to the most casual listener, but there is always an underlying theme of darkness and noisy abandon, which is certainly intentional as the record's lyrics center around innocence lost... from an almost innocent perspective.
Complicated and beautiful, this is one of the most intricate and interesting albums in recent years and to let it slip into obscurity would be a horribly unfortunate crime. Though it may not be for everyone, the adventurous, and those willing to give an album some time to grow on them, should certainly give this a try.
The first disc: "Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've vanished" is my favorite of the two. The hushed vocals, catchy melodies, and sparse instrumentation, and sometimes stupefying use of squeals and crackles; all undulating as though it where composed and performed on the sea. It's a bit hypnotic after a while...
These guys certainly know how to put a pop song together, and "April and the Phantom" shows that talent off beautifully(only it's waterlogged)
However, I don't recomend listening to this if you're in a tense mood, or even if, say, you've got sinus trouble or something.
You'll hear some high pitch tones that seems just below a dog whistle's. That high pitched shimmer in "Bat You'll Fly" for example..
I had to turn the treble down just a bit the first time I heard this so I wouldn't get a headache.
The second disc: "Danse Manatee" is more subtle. The sense of humour is still there, but the album has a slightly darker, disturbed quality. You might say I'm still on the fence over it, but I don't feel like I'm wasting my time listening to it.
All in all, this is probably the best place to start if you've ever been curious about Animal Collective.