Animal Collective | Fall Be Kind

Domino (2009)
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  December 16, 2009
3.0 3.0 Stars

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This nifty little five-track postscript to January's celebrated Merriweather Post Pavilion demonstrates further how adept the members of Animal Collective have become at deploying their bottomless bag of electro-psych tricks in the service of songs — you know, the hummable, toe-tappable, downright sing-along-with kind. The highlight of Fall Be Kind (from a musical standpoint as well as a narrative one) is "What Would I Want? Sky," which, as you've probably read on any number of indie-rock blogs, features the first licensed sample of the Grateful Dead's music (in this case "Unbroken Chain," from 1974's From the Mars Hotel).

After three minutes of Four Tet–style percussive clatter, the tune bursts into a sweetly shambolic techno-folk shuffle sung by Avey Tare with the kind of little-boy whimsy that drives all the art-school girls wild. Elsewhere, Tare and his bandmates do the post–Van Dyke Parks Disney-strings thing ("Graze"), set their synths to deep-jungle stun gun ("On a Highway"), and lay down a surprisingly heavy barbershop-funk groove that may someday find its way into an MF Doom song ("I Think I Can"). Modestly marvelous.

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