Animal Collective – Prospect Hummer (CD)

I’ve heard of Animal Collective in the past but have never been lucky enough to hear any of their music. While the first track on this EP “It’S You” starts off in a benign way, the graduate increasing tempo and loudness of the harp at regular intervals really fills the track with a sound that bolsters the operatic female vocals contained within. The song structure is somewhat simplistic (mainly minor vocals incorporated with a tied-in harp line), but the minor derivations from a similar sound really make the track salvageable for the longer haul. The slightly more uptempo sound that listeners encounter during the opening of the title track really work with the repeated phrases of the first section; the same operatic vocals strive for dominance.

The reason why this track maintains some interest is that there are much more in the way of foils to this major voice; aside from the harp and guitar present, there seems to be a veritable choir backing this voice up. The different enunciation and plodding nature of “Prospect Hummer” really do much to vary up the monolithic sound began by “It’s You”. The number of different guitar lines that start off “Baleen Sample” give listeners the illusion of being at the beach of a local body of water; the guitar arrangements really mimic the sound of waves crashing as a bird-like sound comes through at differing intervals. The lack of lyrical vocals during this track really allows the Animal Collective to really shine; the chaos of this track is kept in line by a very mature collective hand, and the lack of vocals shows this fact (which had previously been obscured in prior tracks). The extended length of the track is merited, as the variations in the level of chaos present and of the arrangements themselves really ensure that listener’s interest is maintained.

Finishing off “Prospect Hummer” with “I Remember Learning How To Dive”, Animal Collective show that they can learn a new track. Incorporating Medieval-sounding intonation to the female vocal on the track, ey really moves away from the overblown operatic sound of previous tracks and really puts forth a more unified and sedate track. The disc is not a full length, but the amount of thought put out in each of these tracks and the immense ground covered during an Animal Collective track will ensure that the purchase will be well worth it.

Top Track: I Remember Learning How to Dive

Rating: 5.7/10

[JMcQ]

Animal Collective – Prospect Hummer / 2005 Fat Cat / http://www.paw-tracks.com / http://www.fat-cat.com / Reviewed 07 October 2005

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