Painting With by Animal Collective (Domino)

CU Sentry reviews Painting With by Animal Collective, from Domino.

Organized chaos: the two most apt words to describe Animal Collective’s 10th studio album, Painting With. This album, released on Feb. 19, fully showcases the group’s experimental pop sound, in ways both good and bad.

The first song, “FloriDada,” starts off with a wide array of noises—including various instruments, voices, and tempos— and continues to add more and more until the listener is lost and confused, setting the tone for the entire album.

Each song is jam-packed with so many noises it is hard to focus on any one thing. While the entire album gives off this chaotic vibe, there is no doubt each sound and song is carefully planned and organized.

It is understandable to admire Animal Collective’s creativity and unique sound. However, it is hard to appreciate it when there is just too much happening in each song. Interesting lyrics like, “It’s a gut that fears all things unknown/And a link within the brain you know,” are lost in the maze of sounds.

With distracting noises and so much happening, many of the interesting or meaningful parts of the songs disappear. Animal Collective’s ideas are strong, but when they are all jammed into one track each idea loses value. Moments of many songs are intriguing, but none will be left playing in the listener’s head or compelling them to leave it on repeat.

While this is an interesting album to listen to, it isn’t quite a standout. With too many noises and overlaying voices at once, and not enough variety between songs, this album isn’t the most memorable.

—Tessa Blair

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