Animal Collective

The general consensus is that Animal Collective's latest and ninth album Centipede Hz is a chaotic, overstuffed mess. Pitchfork's Stuart Berman memorably described it as being "like someone throwing a burrito on your windshield"—which is neither the safest way to drive or the best way to enjoy Mexican food. Every song bulges and bursts with disorienting digital sound effects, almost no space left unfilled where a synthetic bell or whistle could sound, and yet underneath, these are simple, almost too easy-going songs. There's no transcendent pop on the level of "My Girls" or "Fireworks"—although newly returned member Deakin comes close with his lead on the hypnotic, awe-struck "Wide Eyed." It's Animal Collective attempting to return to their pre-crossover, feral noise/psych-jam roots, only with so much pop and electronic baggage in tow. This will delight some fans, for sure; others will find it all too much to sift through to find something of sustenance. With Micachu and The Shapes. ERIC GRANDY

Tue., Sept. 18, 7:30 p.m., 2012

 
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