Animal Collective
Sung Tongs

By Ed Thaw

Apart from a few scattered memories we've mostly forgotten what being young was like. The sheer unalloyed joy of a slice of white bread covered with hundreds and thousands, the sheer unfairness of not being allowed that thing you wanted in the shop with the bright colours and shiny bits.

You get the feeling that Brooklyn's Animal Collective haven't. They are proper grown-ups of course, as we all are, but somehow they remain plugged into the main vein of naivety, wondering aloud at the wonder and sadness of the world. It helps that the production makes this feel as if it was recorded round a camp fire. Sat on logs with blankets to keep everybody warm.

Who Could Win a Rabbit has Avey Tare and Panda Bear's voices scrambling over each other like Simon and Garfunkel on really good hash cakes and a sniff of helium. Elsewhere there is quiet reflection. Kids on Holiday ebbs and flows with gentle abandon. Sweet Road comes with sampled children's voices and breathless mutterings about letting ‘the eagles have a good time'. College very briefly makes the point that ‘you don't have to go to college' – damn too late.

All this is good, if psychedelic, fun but it's hard to see when you would put it on. It's not really background music unless your idea of fun is to get your best friends round and feed them jelly and liquorice allsorts, make them eat your mum's chocolate birthday cake until they puke before sending them home with a goodie bag.
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