Other blogs are probably writing better reviews on this album than I ever will, but seeing as how I haven't posted in a while ( and there isn't anything else that I've listened to that has been worth writing about) here we are.
I've always felt like the fairest way to review Animal Collective is to have a rather ambivalent attitude towards them; most people you ecounter or either Animal Collective fanatics or they don't have the patience to sit and down and figure out what this band does. Speaking as an ambivalent listener (in all honesty I can typically take or leave AC) Strawberry Jam is probably the most accessible record from these guys to date. However, they are good enough at what they do to maintain the eccentricities and complex time signatures that have earned them so much respect in the music world. This album is much more poppy than their previous work and differs a lot from their last release. Feels was very spacey and introspective, Strawberry Jam has a much more jubilant, melodic vibe. The songs are almost (dare I say it) catchy. Longtime listeners will appreciate the fact that Animal Collective have not lost their original sound at all when making this record, they've really just enriched it and taken it another direction. What I've always found interesting about AC is how they really don't sound like anyone else, it's as if they come from another dimension, all of their songs could very easily be songs from a distant planet. Animal Collective is one of the very few bands that successfully pushes the creative borders in a way that keeps one interested without getting too annoyed with their pretentiousness. (Because lets be honest, of COURSE they're pretentious.) Avey Tare's vocals only add to the very surreal feel of the band, sometimes his voice can be hard to really get into, but I think it meshes with what this group is all about very well.
Regardless, Strawberry Jam is a good album, it has something for both the faithful listener and the newbie. If you want to read a more specific review of this band I'm sure you will figure out a way to do so, all I am really trying to say here is that I think this a record that truly deserves a listen. Love them or hate them, Animal Collective is a band that consists of some of the most innovative talent of the current music scene. Give them a try if you haven't already.
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