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Emperor's New Clothes?
on 21 March 2013
Even given that Merriweather Post Pavilion was almost wholly lacking in any discernable basslines (the addition of a few would certainly have helped out and if the lads want a hand with this aspect of their work, I'm free, willing and able!), I really, REALLY enjoyed that album as it positively throbbed with bright, fresh, ingenious life.
When my brother and I were very young we used to stand on chairs to reach the kitchen sink and mum would allow us to take a wee bit of anything we wanted (detergents, condiments, flour, food colouring, breakfast cereals etc.) from cupboards, bags, boxes and throw it all in the sink and mix it around to see just what we would come up with. We called the ensuing brew 'Dragon Killer' and the only thing to do with it at the end was to flush it all down the sink cause, while we had fun making it and we did come up with some weird and wonderful concoctions, it was NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION.
And that's what happened here. A group of chefs (with a decade's experience making experimental but surprisingly tasty and filling fare) decided to make a casserole. So together they threw in carrots, haddock, beef, chillies, spuds, horseradish, sausages, monkfish, cheese, couscous, duck, anchovies, raisons, aubergines and cabbage. Then they closed their eyes, selected a random handful of herbs and spices from the rack and chucked them all in too. Then they got their oven as hot as it would go and bunged the whole lot in for an hour. Voila - Centipede Hz!
I sure hoped they enjoyed producing it, cause I sure didn't enjoy listening to it. And I wanted to so much! Everything seems to be mixed without any thought of light or shade, everything full whack all the time, pretty much. And each track so lacking in any real character that it is hard to remember, even having listened to it 3 times in 2 days, any real highlights. And the critics going on about the lovely mess the lads have made. Seriously?
For a bunch who have been cooking for as long as the Animal Collective, I really expected them to grow up and serve up a much better feed.