Is hyperbole your raver name?

Who doesn't care for sonic free form electronic horror gospel hip hop soul pop madness?

Who doesn't care for sonic free form electronic horror gospel hip hop soul pop madness?

On a historic day such as this one, it’s easy to fall victim to an insidious frenemy called hyperbole. I don’t mean to take away from the significance of the inaugural ceremonies. I applaud Barack Obama as the new U.S. president. If his supposed reversal of an abortion policy occurs as quickly as is suggested after he’s sworn in, then I’m excited about his decisions on other matters. And of course, I can’t wait for George W. Bush to leave the White House, not for his 880th day of vacation while in office, but for good.

But I’m just not comfortable with calling a president our savior. I’m not even comfortable with the Skywalker comparison. He’s a man. Men make mistakes. And he’s not been in power for a total of 24 hours yet. I’m hopeful, too, but cautiously so. Let’s see what he does and says before we set ourselves up for abject disappointment, that’s all. Because these days, the unfortunate companion of hyperbole is backlash. There’s simply too much to fix to be bogged down in dissent.


But what does this have to do with my aural fixation, you may be wondering. Hyperbole gets the best of music critics as easily as it does political pundits. Before I committed the first entry of The Sound and the Nerdy to public posting, other music blogs excitedly chatted about the upcoming release of Animal Collective’s new album, Merriweather Post Pavillion. Pitchfork and Stereogum note the album’s vast amount of hype and throw around the word “best” a couple times for good measure.

Isn’t it still January? Aren’t we being a little hasty to call this the best album of 2009? Much like the inauguration, I don’t dislike Animal Collective’s most recent effort. I haven’t heard all of it yet, but the songs I’ve listened to are fun. To say that the album is a sonic windfall is a little like saying, “There’s a lot of expectations for Barack Obama.” The final track, “Brother Sport,” incorporates frenetic chanting, exhilarated harmonies, and numerous machines going, “Woot woot” in their respective ways. Compared to their previous work, I can hear why Merriweather Post Pavillion is being hailed as a crucial condensed representation of what makes Animal Collective innovative. I just want more evidence and examples to make an assessment before I inscribe my The Best stamp on it.

If nothing else, the inauguration of the 44th president of the United States is cause for celebration. “Brother Sport” is a party song if ever there was one. Neither Barack Obama nor Animal Collective may be able to heal your money woes nor your credit on an international level. But maybe, the song and That Moment (capitalized courtesy of Microsoft) offer glimpses of sublimity that certainly can’t make life any worse.

  • Animal Collective ~ Merriweather Post Pavillion ~ Domino

Brother Sport


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