Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Down There, Avery Tare

BEST OF 2010

I am a huge fan of Animal Collective. They have yet to release an album I don't enjoy. They remain consistent, but refreshing with each release. Over the years, there has been the side projects of Animal Collective band members. The most famous side project is Panda Bear. I will admit I am not very taken by Panda Bear's releases. In 2007, Panda Bear was praised for the release of the album Person Pitch. The reviews drew comparisons to the Beach Boys and other surf rock sounds. I wasn't interested. It was fine, but I could take it or leave it. And, honestly, at this point... I've left it.

When I heard Avery Tare was releasing a solo project I became worried. I was hoping this wasn't going to be another critical darling mess. But, the reviews haven't been overwhelmingly positive. They've maintained a pretty middle of the road grouping of thoughts on the album. I'd have to agree. There isn't anything exceptional in the album. But, I do enjoy it a lot more than Panda Bear's releases.

Down There sounds very much like an Animal Collective album. All the spastic vocals and music are present. The playful, music box on acid sounds are floating about like tripping ghosts in a haunted house. It is a surprising mix of somber emotion and art-rock. Much of the albums sounds as if it were created underwater. This is hard to explain. But, that sound when you take a finger and run it horizontally across your lips and try to speak... there is this element to much of the album. It doesn't sound pleasant. But, it's a lot of fun.

Man Man gets compared to Animal Collective meets Tom Waits. I agree. But, on Avery Tare's release... I'd say he sounds like Man Man meets Animal Collective. Again, a good thing. I wonder why this needed to be a solo album. Maybe beef it up a bit with the rest of the Animal Collective fellows and this could be a really incredible release.

The sounds of the albums vary. There are a few upbeat pieces that get your body doing a little dance (Oliver Twist) and other songs which are dark, but beautiful (Laughing Hieroglyphic). I haven't given this album enough attention. Every time I listen I tell myself "you need to put this on more often." Then, I forget all about it and find myself rediscovering it a couple of weeks later.

This is definitely a surprise release. And the best surprise of all... it gets better with every listen.


No comments:

Post a Comment