When psych-pop pioneers Animal Collective say they're going "back to basics," you really have to take it with a grain of salt. Coming off 2009's career-defining Merriweather Post Pavilion, the Collective return with Centipede Hz, an album that shows the band putting down their drum machines and mixers in favour of more organic instrumentation. But don't let the boys fool you: Animal Collective are still at the top of their game, broadcasting a dub-inflected set of atmospheric jams that veer away from Pavilion's linear songwriting and back towards the limitless soundscapes of their early years. Reuniting as a four-piece, the Collective's Deakin shines especially bright, delivering lead vocals on the Be Here Now-inspired "Wide Eyed," while Panda Bear's "Rosie Oh" reminds you who his favourite Beach Boy is. Whether it's the claustrophobic reggaeton of leadoff single "Today's Supernatural" or the tribal rhythms of closer "Amanita," nine albums into their career, Animal Collective continue to deliver records far ahead of their time.
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