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Animal Collective
Strawberry Jam

"Several species of small furry animals gathered together in a cave and grooving with a pict". Yes, Animal Collective makes me think of this song by Pink Floyd (off their Ummagumma album). Their sound is just about what that title implies. I'm also tempted to pull the slogan used by the late 80s Balkan (British) world-folk poppers 3 Mustaphas 3: 'Forward in all directions!'. Born to be a little wild, sort of.

Strawberry Jam is their 5th full (studio) album (last year's Hollinndagain was a live recording), and by far their best. It's hard to describe what Animal Collective sounds like (besides the aforementioned Pink Floyd track), but imagine a wild mix of XTC and Neutral Milk Hotel. Strawberry Jam shows a more focused band than before, but they're still a playful, mysterious and funny bunch. Doing everything without limits, beyond borders and indeed their very own way. They twist and turn, jump and freeze, and their songs are extremely lively, colourful and multi-layered (even multi-dimensional).

"Peacebone" kicks off, and most of the album's songs follow at a very high level. The lyrics are also something on the side. Funny, un-expected, strange, witty, corny, freaky. Strawberry Jam will most def shove up on many an end-of-year-list. It's up there on mine already.

Dare I say animal magic? Yes. Yummy Jam.

Check our archive for more Animal Collective reviews.

Copyright © 2007 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Animal Collective articles/reviews: Centipede Hz, Feels, FloriDada, Here Comes the Indian, Merriweather Post Pavilion, Spirit They're Gone Spirit They've Vanished / Danse Manatee, Sung Tongs, The Fillmore, San Francisco, Sunday 5 March 2006.

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