A release this early in the year is rare, especially a record this highly anticipated by so many. Now, I tend to get overly excited about big hype releases like this. Both Strawberry Jam and Panda Bear's Person Pitch were very high on my best of 2007 list. Usually this kind of hype only leads to disappointment. Not the case with Merriweather Post Pavilion. This early in the year, I'd be willing to bet this album ends up on mine and most other’s year end lists for 2009.
Animal Collective have been a very important band from their inception. They have never been afraid to experiment with styles from folk, to electronica, to pop. They've worked with greats like Vashti Bunyan. Almost all individual members of AC have released outstanding solo albums. All the styles they've played with have worked extremely well for them, however, on Merriweather Post Pavillion, it's like they've reached a conclusion they didn't know they were looking for. It features the best of all the various AC projects. The pulsing drum sounds of Feels, the mellow sounds of Sung Tongs, the pop sensibilities of Strawberry Jam and the psychedelic vocals of Person Pitch.
The album plays through perfectly with out one low point. It suits a large party, as well as an intimate listen with the headphones; a campfire sing-a-long or a romantic night in. This album encroaches on perfection in my book. Will this be one of the most important albums of the 2000's; only time will tell, but my current state of excitement says yes.