Animal Collective Fall Be Kind

Animal Collective Fall Be Kind
Sure, the five tracks included here were recorded in February 2008 with the rest of the band's near-universally acclaimed LP, Merriweather Post Pavilion, but Animal Collective's Fall Be Kind EP is a cohesive and adventurous work that not only matches the LP, in terms of quality, but indicates where the band might next be headed. The EP begins with "Grace," on which a whimsical swirl of strings seemingly sets the tone, until the three-minute mark, when the song is punctuated by the ticking of claves and high-hats, the playful twittering of sampled flutes and jabs of heavy synth. It's a suitable prologue for an EP, striking the perfect balance between sweet melody and sprawling atmosphere, on which the band's lucidity ebbs and flows in a manner at once logical and sweetly captivating. While the EP may be more sonically subdued than Merriweather, it's more consistent and equally rewarding. Fall Be Kind is a collection of dynamic, sprawling pop songs strong enough to stand on its own, even beside one of the best albums of the year. (Domino)