Fall Be Kind [EP] - Animal Collective

Universal acclaim - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. As a collection of songs, each one ranks among the band’s best; as an album, it is a swift, personal and evocative statement from a band who has risen to fame by being one of the more mystifying and challenging modern bands to comply to pop structures, and it is all in the details.
  2. Released at the end of a smashingly successful year, Fall Be Kind is a worthy epilogue to an all-time classic.
  3. Stripped of all the sonic flotsam that usually surrounds them, Animal Collective come into their own--if you can ignore the chatter to listen with innocent ears, they surpass ‘good’ and remain bewildering.
  4. All told, though, as we crawl to the end of this Year Of The Animal Collective, this release can certainly be said to have further elevated their status.
  5. This is Animal Collective at their finest folks, inviting everyone in to see them at their peak and loving the freedom that comes with being on top of the world.
  6. Given its fragmented genesis, it's surprising how listenable and of-a-piece Fall Be Kind is.
  7. 86
    The resulting album comes across, for the most part, as a peaceful, relaxing--if extremely weird--trip through a newfound musical slipstream. [Holiday 2009, p. 98]
  8. The new EP contains some of their strongest material to date. [Holiday 2009, p.82]
  9. If Fall Be Kind is noticeably less hooky than "Merriweather Post Pavilion," it sounds just as ravishing, and offers an equally cohesive whole.
  10. Fall Be Kind doesn’t exactly break past the barriers set by this year’s "Merriweather Post Pavilion," but it is an excellent extension of the ethos captured by that particular record.
  11. Far from the emperor with no summertime clothes, the five songs on Fall Be Kind--a mixture of holdovers from the MPP sessions and new material recorded this year--retain the electronics, but add some samples and head in a darker thematic direction.
  12. Fall Be Kind is yet another reason why Animal Collective TOTALLY TRANSCEND any notion of hipster hype-ism, another feather in a crowded cap. God bless these guys.
  13. The band’s trademark solemnity and repetitive downtempo styles prevail in the final three tracks, making you feel like you’re treading in a swimming pool of honey--in a good way.
  14. Nothing on Fall Be Kind sounds like b-side fodder, and one song, “What Would I Want? Sky”, is already canon bound.
  15. There's not a cut here that will make anyone think differently about the Baltimore-born outfit but it's a worthy addition to their catalog.
  16. Fall Be Kind shows the band on the path to becoming an even mellower band and nothing here is exceptionally energetic except for the last half of Graze.
  17. 70
    Last year's Merriweather Post Pavilion, SPIN's 2009 Album of the Year, forwent such formlessness, but the haze returns on this five-track EP. Fortunately, Merriweather's hummable, techno-indebted delirium also returns.
  18. Fall Be Kind really mines the depths of the b-bin: musical theater + jam band + Putumayo. Liking it feels goofy, even though it’s pretty good.
  19. The major criticism of Animal Collective has been the band's proclivity to bewilder listeners more than give them the pop songs they want. It's difficult to criticize Merriweather on those terms, but it applies a lot more to Fall Be Kind. What's worse, that bewilderment prevents Fall Be Kind from being what the best Animal Collective releases always are: fun.
  20. At their best, Animal Collective combine shapely pop hooks with mind-broadening sonic freakery. At their worst, the sonic freakery is mind-numbing. Like most of their work, this five-song EP contains all of the above.
  21. Thus, when not overextending the disappointing, unfinished musical projects on Fall Be Kind's, the Collective are busy beating their promising ideas into monotony.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 132 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 17
  2. Negative: 3 out of 17
  1. Oct 6, 2010
    One of my least favorite releases by one of my favorite bands. While certain moments border on greatness, most of it feels disjointed and uninspired. The second track is really the only thing on the album worth hearing, even Panda Bear's contribution, I Think I Can, sounds sour and bland to me. Full Review »
  2. Oct 10, 2012
    Best EP ever recorded. I could listen to this record all day long. Graze is the most majestic song you will ever hear in your life. The pan flute makes you want to be a kid again and do crazy drugs at the same time. What Would I Want? Sky is equally as compelling and one of the best songs I've ever head. Bleed is a somber middle piece that fits well between WWIW?S On A Highway, a breezy song about longing for a home. I Think I Can, the closing track, is one of Panda Bear's greatest contributions. 10/10 A+ 100% Buy this now. Full Review »
  3. Sep 1, 2012
    this for me is the best body of work theyve ever done, so open and exciting and bonkers and brilliant. couple of darker tracks. it sounds better than merriweather which for me was quite screechy in parts. Full Review »