Strawberry Jam

  • Record Label: Domino
  • Release Date: Sep 11, 2007
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. 'Cuckoo Cuckoo' is another moment in which Animal Collective reach a new level of compositional mastery and broaden their territory.
  2. Strawberry Jam, 2007’s strongest album so far.
  3. The album's second half is slightly more abstract than the catchy pop that precedes it, but these moments are tempered, causing the record to feel more focused.
  4. 91
    The balance across the album (as opposed to the drop-off second half of Feels) makes it their most forward and enjoyable work to date.
  5. Due to its extreme use of repetition and electronics, it forgoes much of the curious, daydream-esque dynamic which had dominated previous Collective releases, but what has been assembled here is an astute, entrancing deconstruction of pop music. Highly and happily recommended to all.
  6. Rare is the album that's able to expand an established band's fan base while completely satisfying the cult of early flag planters, but Strawberry Jam has that chance.
  7. Animal Collective's abstract and catchy sides are each constantly aware of what the other is doing.
  8. It doesn't seem quite as strong as Feels, but also seems like the group might be on the verge of something even better.
  9. Strawberry Jam might be art, but more interestingly, Strawberry Jam might be pop. Okay, avant-pop.
  10. Animal Collective has evolved; its songs continue to meander and digress, but the mania seems driven by a greater sense of purpose.
  11. Alternative Press
    80
    The freakiest freak-folk is rarely as freakish as the more disorienting triumphs of Strawberry Jam, a neo-psychedelic mind-fuck from Animal Collective. [Oct 2007, p.160]
  12. Strawberry Jam doesn't promise to be something for everyone, but it will certainly please those with an ear for the strange and surreal--even if you will have to sleep with your light on.
  13. Animal Collective is a completely different beast on Strawberry Jam, and it’s beautiful at times, it really is.
  14. Strawberry Jam, which comes in under 45 minutes, radiates not only hallucinatory good will but also a sense of song craft and suspense.
  15. It makes for an utterly compelling, even obsessive listen.
  16. It's as idiosyncratic and tinged with goofiness as one might expect for a band with members called Panda Bear and Geologist.
  17. Blender
    80
    The blend of organization--even the oddest, most precarious combinations of instruments sync up--and derangement is Animal Collective's version 2.0 of hippie whimsy, and it's quite a buzz [Oct 2007, p.105]
  18. What is exploding, writhing and fermenting behind Avey Tare's erratic voice is what's most interesting about this poppy, though experimental, set.
  19. The album succeeds more than any of its predecessors because it always entertains and surprises.
  20. 80
    But though much of the record revels in freaky electronics--'Chores' and 'Winter Wonder Land' rush through as though played by pixellated marching bands--there’s an overwhelming sadness to the undertow
  21. Q Magazine
    80
    Strawberry Jam sounds as if it was a blast to make; happily, the fun doesn't stop there. [October 2007, p.94]
  22. Under The Radar
    80
    The overall portrait is that of a fruitful collision of four like-minded, talented artists bursting with ideas, and smart enough not to take their own genius seriously. [Fall 2007, p.78]
  23. Urb
    70
    AC still celebrates soaking up esoterica, but this album is the group's jauntiest, least emulsified. [Sep 2007, p.128]
  24. The music tries to express what words can't, which makes this Animal Collective’s most combustive, "live" record yet.
  25. Just because there's an onslaught of verbiage and weird noises (like most pop these days) does not a pop album make. It is their most oxymoronic, though.
  26. This album's reduced sonic density is both refreshing and slightly disappointing, since the confounding head-rush of their tunes was always a large part of their appeal.
  27. A long, exhausting listen, Strawberry Jam will occasionally satiate fans hungry for the band’s strange brilliance.
  28. The Wire
    60
    The nine songs her give a reason for detractors to raise their voices and for devotees to hope for something a little more evolved. [Sep. 2007, p.49]
  29. As its title implies, though, Strawberry Jam is strange: luxurious and fractious, wistful and atonal.
  30. Strawberry Jam is a mixed proposition if ever there was one.
  31. The Collective's aspirations come off as bland and blurry, as if aspiration alone was the sole goal for this jam, spread out over three quarters of an hour.
  32. The sixth album by this neocommunalist, neopsychedelic quartet improves on 2005's "Feels," flashing more shards of tune to lure the coeds with the Coleman PerfectFlow InstaStart Lanterns over to their adamantly unkempt campfire.
  33. Spin
    60
    The sweetness of Strawberry Jam is savvily balanced by the sour, or at least the edgy. [Oct 2007, p.98]
  34. Mojo
    60
    An album of mischievous melody, fairground keyboards, cut'n'paste aural collage and an undeniable love of pop all but buried in junk shop Dadaist clatter. [Oct 2007, p.106]
User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 182 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 63 out of 69
  2. Negative: 1 out of 69
  1. Sep 1, 2012
    10
    people like Herbert below who wheel out the word 'hipster' everytime they cant digest something or dont like it need to be publicly lynchedpeople like Herbert below who wheel out the word 'hipster' everytime they cant digest something or dont like it need to be publicly lynched and also preferably beheaded. strawberry jam is another cranium busting game changer of a record from AC. a classic record between two other classic records of theres. Full Review »
  2. HerbertP.
    Dec 11, 2007
    3
    This is passing for music these days? Hipsters will eat up anything if an obscure band shits it out.
  3. Feb 22, 2016
    7
    Feels a bit like an experimental piece trying to find it's footing. Though the album isn't bad, it does produce some great tracks such asFeels a bit like an experimental piece trying to find it's footing. Though the album isn't bad, it does produce some great tracks such as "Peacebone", "Fireworks", & "#1", but there are some moments in the album that feel erratic, frantic, and loud. Overall it's good tracks outweigh some of the bad.

    7/10
    Full Review »