As niche as the meditative writing that Avey Tare can be, he’s done a lot over the years to evolve his writing into something unique and enchanting. After a more singular record previously, Tare never leaves a moment of his music dull this time around. Though it may be a little long form for some, this is by far one of Tare’s most accessible albums to date.
Though many members of Animal Collective tend to end up droning heavily their own, Tare is adept at giving a lot of life to this kind of writing. Tare brings a constantly lush feeling to the world his music inhabits, and always gives a few different little notes to fixate on. Even as something like “What’s The Goodside” starts to feel repetitive, the undercurrent of hope rises in the song’s synths and harmonies to really give the track new life. In other places, Tare takes a simple rhythm through a rotating cast of voices, leaving “Eyes On Eyes” and “Nostalgia In Lemonade” as beasts that keep evolving.
Tare also does a great job of making his playing dance and really play around their compositions, in way that feels truly organic and alive. This can turn songs like “Saturdays” into a jam with seemingly limitless potential and give it a lot of room to continuously explore different ends of itself. Though this more abrasive tone playing can be truly cool and alien to listen to, it can leave “Chilly Blue” sounding like an outtake to Flight Of The Conchords’ “Bowie” if approached from the right angle. Admittedly it’s not always easy to follow every inch of a drawn-out and dense track like “K.C. Yours.” Some of these moments feel so empty of breathing room that it actually sounds like Tare is having trouble finishing his lines without gasping at times.
The final section of the album does the best job of creating a sense of cohesion that truly requires a record to get right. Between the sonic barrages of “Our Little Chapter” and a soothing keyboard meditation on “Taken Boy” you can feel Tare really pulling from pop in a cool way. Here more than other parts of the record, you can feel the that Tare has truly mastered the idea of warping a central concept into its best self, like the psychedelic rhythms of “Remember Mayan.” In a way, this allows all the looping vocal hooks to really get stuck in your head, until you need them like a drug, and the changes become noticeable regardless of how minute they get.
Words by Owen Maxwell