TOTS FAVSIES 2012 – #1

Hey!  Thanks for checking this out.

I’ve compiled a list of the albums that I  enjoyed this year.  As mentioned earlier these are not ranked, but albums that I particularly enjoyed and some of each of these album’s finer points.

Hopefully you’re find something that hadn’t crossed your path, or read something that makes you reconsider something that you glossed by.  Maybe you’ll find an interesting fact that you’d enjoy sparking up a bootlog recording over.  Whatever the case I hope you get something positive from this.

Feel free to comment to your heart’s content!

First up!!!

Animal Collective – Centipede Hz:

220px-Centipede_Hz_album_cover

Animal Collective’s follow up to their most mainstream album (2009’s Merriweather Post Pavilion) finds them reunited with original member Deakin (Josh Dibb).  Fans may have been looking for a return to slow build, complex melodies of their pre-MPP work, but instead find them taking yet another unpredictable turn in to quasi-jam band.  Critics of the album claim the band tried so hard that the density of the songs led to a sort of implosion of the songcrafting.  Another criticism of the album is lack of direction and aimless album mixing.

Much like my defense of 2011’s King of Limbs by Radiohead I think most of the criticism is based on an unfair level of expectation.  Animal Collective has never been a group that seemed to follow expectation or end up following any type of predictable path.

To that end this album finds AC delving into a foray of songs that sound like what’d you get from Phish if the group replaced guitars and keyboards with electronic mixers and beat machines.  Sure, listeners can get lost in the fog of layers founds on many of these songs.  And yes, it’s sad to see a lack of spacey burnout tracks (even MPP carried it’s weight in this arena see: Taste / Guy’s Eyes / No More Runnin).

But I found embracing the fog, and getting lost in the thick jungle of a an album was at times a thrilling adventure.  Jungle is good way to metaphorically describe the album too because of it’s almost tribal rhythms that heavily influence many of the best tracks here.  Shit, there’s even a track named after a common jungle dweller.

The album starts preparing the listener for a thrilling ride right off the bat using the aforementioned thumping sonic defibrillator on Moonjock.  A dancey, skittish song that leads abruptly to lead single  Today’s supernatural.  A song that sounds both completely from another planet and simultaneously like one of AC’s most radio friendly songs in their catalog.   Similary tracks like the Deakin led Wide Eyed, Monkey riches and Applesauce entrance the listener with AC’s strange electrorhythmic voodoo.  It’s a rock heavy affair, and a fully enjoyable jam session all the way through to final track, and album highlight Amanita.

Another positive addition to AC’s already world class discography.

Favorite Track: Applesauce

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