Top 10 Songs of the Year: Animal Collective – In the Flowers (video)

November 22, 2009

10. Merriweather Post Pavilion by Animal Collective has been loaded and deleted on my iPod exactly three times since January. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s either because I can’t get past track 5 without wondering: “Hey, I need reasons to hate why every indie blog has been cyber-fellating this since it was released 10 months ago.” Or maybe it’s because I’ve been thinking: “I really wonder why Animal Collective will most likely top every critic’s list this year when every song on this record relies on a circular harpsichord melody and processed and filtered and then processed again vocals.” Seriously, I’m not sure if it’s just because I’ve been listening to crazy art collages since I was 16 (thanks, Beck) or because electronic music came in the form of individual instruments hypnotically layered over each other since 1994 (Underworld is king). Basically, if you ever wanted to know about one of the most unspecial records of the year that you probably won’t stop hearing about, Merriweather Post Pavillion is exactly that album!

But after listening to this record exactly 6 times (my iTunes count says so), there is one song that stands out, and it’s the one I have to hear each time I start the record: track one. “In the Flowers” is not only one of the more remarkable songs I’ve heard this year, it makes my top 10 because it has cool sound effects and a hook that pays off at the 2:55 mark. It’s a nutty video with absurd visuals courtesy of your local community college’s AV club (or courtesy of Beck circa Mellow Gold and Odelay, zing) that actually accents the song quite nicely.

Voila, number 10 in my countdown of the best songs of the year. It drive me nuts to wonder, especially under the cloud of 9.6 Pitchfork review, why the hell anyone would treasure this record. Probably because this song has tortured and teased me into wondering whether Animal Collective is any good.

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