Merriweather Post Pavilion - Animal Collective
Metascore
89

Universal acclaim - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. MPP had aura to burn long before most of us heard it, but now those of us who have heard it and do love it know that this music will not be content to stand idle on the margins of tuneless hype. Time may very well lend Merriweather Post Pavilion a legend extraordinary enough to faithfully capture its myriad treasures.
  2. 100
    It feels like one of the landmark American albums of the century so far. [Jan 2008, p.86]
  3. Soulful and almost structurally flawless (it's the most minor of complaints that the middle run of songs are all about a half-minute too long), Merriweather finds one of the most talented, most creative pop bands finally and gloriously figuring it all out.
  4. Even by their own exuberant standards, though, AC's ninth album is a dizzying knees-up that makes most music, indie rock or otherwise, sound both bloodless and pathetically timid.
  5. Merriweather Post Pavilion is heartbreaking and heartwarming, and you can either disregard what is one of the most pleasing, enjoyably rich and rewarding releases of the past decade or you can rally with the rest of us, and clap, and sing, and blare it through the earphones on your iPod because we are still all the things outside of us.
  6. What’s more important is that Merriweather Post Pavilion is not just one of the finest things you’re going to hear in 2009 but that it should sit well next to albums like Kid A on lists of the best music made in our time.
  7. Merriweather's sound plays like both a summation and an expansion of everything Animal Collective has done so far, with a sharper focus on melody and more emboldened vocals that drive the songs.
  8. It's of the moment and feels new, but it's also striking in its immediacy and comes across as friendly and welcoming.
  9. Has the album of 2009 been unleashed in January? I can’t see anything else coming near it.
  10. Throughout Merriweather Post Pavilion the band mixes instrumentation and samples and voices in a way that seems to be an advanced or accelerated development of past triumphs.
  11. Nine albums and eight years in, it’s time to stop trying to figure out what the hell Animal Collective--vocalist/guitarist Avey Tare, percussionist/vocalist Panda Bear and knob-twiddler Geologist--is, and just enjoy the orgasmic rush of danceable rock.
  12. Merriweather Post Pavilion won't land the band the opening slot on a Coldplay tour, it cleaves closer to "Pitch's" more listener-friendly aesthetic, abandoning the self-indulgent impulses that sometimes muddied last year's "Strawberry Jam" for an album full of effervescent, transportive oddity.
  13. Merriweather Post Pavilion's rare combination of great songs and vital invention make this one of the year's most important records, already.
  14. Is Merriweather Post Pavilion the flawless album that it's been willed to be? Taken as a whole I'd say it's pretty damn close.
  15. 90
    With Merriweather Post Pavilion, Animal Collective have proven themselves to be at the forefront of progressive pop, as deadly with their textures as they are with their melodies.
  16. Merriweather Post Pavilion is a perfectly organized record, not a note out of place, not a second wasted.
  17. On Merriweather, their art reminds us that immersion in Western tropes need not be met with scorn, that not all of its idioms have yet been exhausted, that embracing optimism and melody can still be so relevant--and it aches in the most soulful of ways.
  18. Oozing fun out of every pore, this record is the perfect tonic to the increasingly troubled times that 2009 brings with it and will most likely feature on many of those Best Of lists come December.
  19. Merriweather Post Pavilion finds Animal Collective tight and sharp, and it suits them. Animal Collective’s music is for everyone’s world.
  20. Animal Collective still struggles with effective counterweights to its euphoric beauty--the attempt at romance on 'Bluish' is off-putting and some of the murkiness can exhaust and undermine--but it shifts so rapidly, with such conviction, that it's more fun to hunker down and surrender.
  21. Animal Collective keep getting better.
  22. Merriweather..., their psych-pop pinnacle, shares the simultaneous relentless complexity and instant simplicity of the best Of Montreal albums, but where Kevin Barnes’ last effort got lost in its clever-clever weirdness, shifting rhythms and textures in a way that felt like standing onboard a bus going down a mountain, Animal Collective’s is an easy, good-natured beast.
  23. 80
    By far the most streamlined and purposeful Animal Collective record. [Jan 2008, p.98]
  24. With Merriweather Post Pavillion, Animal Collective have refined their distinctive vision, once again proving they are ahead of the pack. [Feb 2009, p.1114]
  25. 80
    In years past, Animal Collective have been cast as perpetual Peter Pans, forever stuck in childhood fantasias. But beneath the body-moving throbs and coruscating noises of Merriweather Post Pavilion, themes of domestic duty and devotion abound.
  26. This is a joyful, transcendent record somehow reminiscent of kids let loose in a musical sandpit. As winter rages around us, it ushers in the warmth and sets a high musical benchmark for others to match this year.
  27. While they’ve obviously raised production values for Merriweather Post Pavillion--the sound of guitars has been eclipsed by a sampledelic woosh and gurgle--Animal Collective fans will be relieved to find the group keeping a safe distance from mainstream pap.
  28. Merriweather Post Pavilion is so gorgeously confident that it fulfills expectations and more.
  29. It's not a return to form so much as a complete reinvention, this is an album that highlights a particularly buoyant Animal Collective, one that’s managed to expand their sound in surprising ways while still retaining the same basic creative impulses that made them such a joy to watch develop over the past decade
  30. MPP is filled with enough new achievements that it's a waste of space to lament the past. It's a rhythm record with an atmosphere.
  31. Some of the phrasing on "MPP" sticks; some of it soars; most of it slips and slides through puddles of rich sonic texture. Only at a distance does the magic of the whole major-key mess become clear.
  32. In Merriweather Post Pavilion, Animal Collective become too fascinated with the way things sound (Animal Collective may be the only band for whom this sometimes becomes a problem) and loses the emotional resonance of their best work. [Winter 2009]
  33. 70
    This is their sunniest, most likeable record, leavened by hints of light-footed dance music.
  34. The ninth disc from this Brooklyn/Baltimore crew tries balancing shameless beauty with ecstatic weirdness, and when they nail it, it's breathtaking.
  35. Merriweather Post Pavilion further smoothes out their sound, and though it's full of cool, orchestrated beauty, it lacks the playfulness and spontaneity that endeared so many to this group.
  36. Animal Collective has backslid into a comfortable, but unfortunately unexciting, middle ground.
User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 512 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 25 out of 194
  1. SF7
    Dec 23, 2010
    10
    This is not an accessible album to anyone. The strange, off the wall interwoven melodies and harmonies that at first appear as a hodgepodge of color and sound, eventually unravel into a masterfully crafted work of art. AC's 2009 effort will be seen as a landmark in music, and will pave the way for more musicians (as it already has for Ariel Pink) in the avant-indie world. In this world, it is often hard for people to discern honest emotion from radio tailored singles. The most striking feature about this work is that it IS catchy, and it IS innovative. If you're not into exploring and accepting new genres of music, broadening your perspective on displays of genuine human intent, or flat out trying something different, then go ahead and stick to your conventional go-to nickelback **** Enjoy your aimless, tasteless sing-a-longs and don't write your opinion, because it does not matter. Full Review »
  2. Oct 8, 2013
    4
    [4.9] Animal Collective may be agreeably unique and energetic but possibly the only thing that would give me a worse headache than listening to this album would be staring at the album artwork for an hour. This album is just repetitive noise, and that seems to be it. The vocals are extremely uneven, and I might not be able to identify a single instrument being used on this record. I have no problem with synthesizers, with computers, with keyboards, hell even with robots (Daft Punk of course), but at least make your electronic music with some melody. I can't identify a rhythm, a beat, or even words. Sure it's new, sure it hasn't been done before, but can something with such little structural significance be innovative? Full Review »
  3. j30
    Sep 22, 2011
    9
    One of the best records of 2009. Finally their sound comes together in this Brian Wilson inspired album.