been a while. anybody there? perfect.
animal collective has a new album coming out, and i've just today had the opportunity to read a review a full two weeks before i can buy the cd in a store. talk about anointed! (PITCHFORK: the day after your winter break, you reviewed an album that isn't out yet, some label's 25th aniversary box set, the current project of some beta band refugees, an "english indie-dance trio", and ludacris. what the fuck? the only unfamiliar band is another fucking indie-dance trio. why does pitchfork hate our freedom?)
but look, i wanted to rant about the animal collective review before i had a chance to hear the album, which i'm confident will be at least passable. that's not the point. i wanted to examine the praise it received, in isolation. this is a dumb thing to do, but nobody's reading, so you know.
to start, animal collective get praise for the "open-ended ideas about what their music might 'mean.'" i don't know why "mean" gets its own quotation marks; it could signify a number of things that render the sentence "meaningless". more importantly, though, the open-ended meaning thing is great for critics, who can write eight full paragraphs (a relative epic in the pitchfork decade) about why this album is the tits.
moving on, "Since their inception, Animal Collective have wandered the territorial edges of music, scoping out where boundaries had been erected and looking beyond them." check it: "looking beyond them". as in, "oh hey, what a great view we have from this boundary. that stuff out there sure looks interesting."
at the end of paragraph two, the bomb is dropped. the album is "the result of all their explorations pieced together to create something accessible and complete." accessible and complete. complete and accessible. these words are telltale signs that you're truly tickling the critics aural prostate. but what on earth does "accessible" mean? it allows you to access it? like a museum? other music is inaccessible? like an underwater cave?
an early nominee for turn-of-phrase-of-2009: panda bear is praised for his "his fuzzy, head-in-the-clouds dreaminess." if that isn't the perfect embodiment of everything pitchfork's thrown at me for as long as i can remember, i don't know what is.
on and on... "a towering edifice of sound"... "from one chanted melodic nugget to the next before building to a huge swirl of psychedelic sound"... "ego-pulverizing bliss of shoegaze"... "brings to mind altered states and the confusing gap between the familiar and the strange" [confusing to whom, sir?]... "the words seem like a running commentary on the essential mystery of being alive". hubba hubba!
look, animal collective's not so bad. they've had their moments, and even an album or two. but jesus christ, i'm sick of this shit: "What they've constructed here is a new kind of electronic pop." well bully for them, but how many new kinds of electronic pop do we need? it's like buying shampoo at duane reade. WHY ARE THERE 800 DIFFERENT KINDS OF SHAMPOO!?
good to be back.