Thursday, August 04, 2005

beta feels feels

after numerous Brooklyn barroom discussions, with everyone from the singer to the mini-discist to the studio engineer, their stories about the album just baiting me like some sort of bear trap (okay, bear-ta trap), a copy of the Animal Collective's Feels finally fell through my mail slot. i was almost nervous to hear it, some three months before it hits the streets. i decided that it was 'hit the lights' listening; what other knee-jerk reaction could there be to what we only half-jokingly call their 'love album'? with lights down low, you can really hear avey tare's pillow talk, his sweety patter, his every utterance E-NUN-C-I-AT-ED. what was shy, meek, kissing to be clever but unclear before has matured, fortified (nevermind that bit about purple bottles), and it's possible to parse every word. the backing vocals still chant but no longer masque, no more do they wear masks.
sonically, they've never been crisper. they camped in the studio for a month, pitching tent out in Seattle. instead of dressing up like sun city girls for Scott Colburn though, the boys still play like they can return to being hooting indians, though they'll never get back to that place. there is this definite twinge of maturity. are they turning from Boyz II Men?
clearings in the woods have been captured like crystal, ants in amber, along with the smores singalongs that have every voice melting together, puffy white and cracker, and the campfire light thrown off from Feels's center sends shafts of brilliance and dancing shadows deep into midnight's inpenetrable forest. yer boy Smokey calls it 'fighting fire with fire.'


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